What is the relationship between income inequality and health? Evidence from the BHPS
Income inequality hypotheses propose that income differentials and|or income distributions have a detrimental effect on health. This previously well accepted relationship between inequality and health has recently come under scrutiny; some claim that it is a statistical artefact, arguing that aggregate level data are not sophisticated enough to adequately test for (and discriminate between) their existence. Supporters argue that it is a question of estimating the relationship using, amongst other things, an appropriate geographical scale. This paper adds to the debate by estimating the relationship between income inequality and health using individual panel data, exploring the relationship at the regional as well as the national level, while attempting to discriminate between the competing hypotheses. Pooled, random and fixed effects ordered probit models are exploited to estimate the relationship between self-reported health and household income, income inequality and relative income. While the estimating regressions find support for the absolute income hypothesis, there is no support for the income inequality hypothesis or relative income hypothesis, and as such we argue that there is limited evidence of an effect of income inequality on health within Britain. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume (Year): 17 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Angus Deaton, 2001.
"Relative Deprivation, Inequality, and Mortality,"
NBER Working Papers
8099, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dean R. Lillard & Richard V. Burkhauser, 2005. "Income Inequality and Health: A Cross-Country Analysis," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 125(1), pages 109-118.
- Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 1999. "Re-Examining the Evidence of an Ecological Association between Income Inequality and Health," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9922, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
- Cowell, Frank A & Victoria-Feser, Maria-Pia, 1996. "Robustness Properties of Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(1), pages 77-101, January.
- Guillaume R. Frechette, 2001. "Random-effects ordered probit," Stata Technical Bulletin, StataCorp LP, vol. 10(59).
- A.B. Atkinson, 1999. "Income inequality in the UK," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(4), pages 283-288.
- Verbeek, M.J.C.M. & Nijman, T.E., 1990.
"Testing for selectivity bias in panel data models,"
1990-18, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Cristina Hernández-Quevedo & Andrew M Jones & Nigel Rice, 2005.
"Reporting bias and heterogeneity in selfassessed health. Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey,"
Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers
05/04, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
- Cristina Hernandez-Quevedo & Andrew M Jones & Nigel Rice, . "Reporting Bias and Heterogeneity in Self-Assessed Health. Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Discussion Papers 04/18, Department of Economics, University of York.
- Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2002. "Inverse probability weighted M-estimators for sample selection, attrition and stratification," CeMMAP working papers CWP11/02, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Wilkinson, Richard G & Pickett, Kate E., 2006. "Income inequality and population health: A review and explanation of the evidence," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(7), pages 1768-1784, April.
- Ellison, George T. H., 2002. "Letting the Gini out of the bottle? Challenges facing the relative income hypothesis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 561-576, February.
- Nijman, T.E. & Verbeek, M.J.C.M., 1992. "Testing for selectivity in panel data models," Other publications TiSEM 7ec34a6c-1d84-4052-971c-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
- Hausman, Jerry A, 1978.
"Specification Tests in Econometrics,"
Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1251-71, November.
- Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey D. Milyo, 2001. "Income inequality and health," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 151-155.
- Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 2002.
"Income Inequality and Health Status in the United States: Evidence from the Current Population Survey,"
Journal of Human Resources,
University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(3), pages 510-539.
- Jennifer Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 1998. "Income Inequality and Health Status in the United States: Evidence From the Current Population Survey," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9815, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
- Andrew M Jones & John Wildman, 2005. "Disentangling the relationship between health and income," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 05/07, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
- Soobader, Mah-Jabeen & LeClere, Felicia B., 1999. "Aggregation and the measurement of income inequality: effects on morbidity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 733-744, March.
- Lopez, Russ, 2004. "Income inequality and self-rated health in US metropolitan areas: A multi-level analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(12), pages 2409-2419, December.
- Ulf-G. Gerdtham & Magnus Johannesson, 2004. "Absolute Income, Relative Income, Income Inequality, and Mortality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
- repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-153280 is not listed on IDEAS
- Michael Grossman, 1972. "The Demand for Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros72-1, December.
- Wildman, John, 2003. "Income related inequalities in mental health in Great Britain: analysing the causes of health inequality over time," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 295-312, March.
- Laporte, Audrey, 2002. "A note on the use of a single inequality index in testing the effect of income distribution on mortality," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(9), pages 1561-1570, November.
- Stephen P. Jenkins, 1999. "Analysis of income distributions," Stata Technical Bulletin, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(48).
- Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, 07.
- Paul Contoyannis & Andrew M. Jones & Nigel Rice, 2004. "The dynamics of health in the British Household Panel Survey," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 473-503.
- Arulampalam, Wiji, 1999. " Practitioners' Corner: A Note on Estimated Coefficients in Random Effects Probit Models," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(4), pages 597-602, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:17:y:2008:i:2:p:249-265. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.