IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/wly/hlthec/v18y2009i2p125-145.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Income, relative income, and self‐reported health in Britain 1979–2000

Author

Listed:
  • Hugh Gravelle
  • Matt Sutton

Abstract

We test the relative income hypothesis that an individual's health depends on the distribution of income in a reference group, as well as on the income of the individual. We use data on 231 208 individuals in Great Britain from 19 rounds of the General Household Survey between 1979 and 2000. Results are insensitive to the measure of self‐assessed health used but the sign and significance of the effect of relative income depend on the reference group (national or regional) and the measure of relative income (Gini coefficient, absolute or proportional difference from the reference group mean, Yitzhaki absolute and proportional relative deprivation and affluence). Only one model (relative deprivation measured as income proportional to regional mean income) performs better than the model without relative income and has a positive estimated effect of absolute income on health. In this model the increase in the probability of good health from a ceteris paribus reduction in relative deprivation from the upper quartile to zero is 0.010, whereas an increase in income from the lower to the upper quartile increases the probability by 0.056. While our results provide only very weak support for the relative deprivation hypothesis, the inevitable correlation of measures of individual income and relative deprivation measured by comparing income and incomes in a reference group makes identification of the separate effects of income and relative deprivation problematic. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Hugh Gravelle & Matt Sutton, 2009. "Income, relative income, and self‐reported health in Britain 1979–2000," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(2), pages 125-145, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:18:y:2009:i:2:p:125-145
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.1354
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/hec.1354
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1002/hec.1354?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Craig, Neil, 2005. "Exploring the generalisability of the association between income inequality and self-assessed health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(11), pages 2477-2488, June.
    2. 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.
    3. Ettner, Susan L., 1996. "New evidence on the relationship between income and health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 67-85, February.
    4. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
    5. Gravelle, Hugh & Wildman, John & Sutton, Matthew, 2002. "Income, income inequality and health: what can we learn from aggregate data?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 577-589, February.
    6. 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.
    7. Chang, Virginia W. & Christakis, Nicholas A., 2005. "Income inequality and weight status in US metropolitan areas," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 83-96, July.
    8. Benzeval, Michaela & Judge, Ken, 2001. "Income and health: the time dimension," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(9), pages 1371-1390, May.
    9. Paula K. Lorgelly & Joanne Lindley, 2008. "What is the relationship between income inequality and health? Evidence from the BHPS," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(2), pages 249-265, February.
    10. Shlomo Yitzhaki, 1979. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(2), pages 321-324.
    11. John D. Hey & Peter J. Lambert, 1980. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient: Comment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 95(3), pages 567-573.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Martin Huber & Michael Lechner & Conny Wunsch, 2011. "Does leaving welfare improve health? Evidence for Germany," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 484-504, April.
    2. Brady P. Horn & Johanna Catherine Maclean & Michael R. Strain, 2017. "Do Minimum Wage Increases Influence Worker Health?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(4), pages 1986-2007, October.
    3. Roberta Distante, 2013. "Subjective Well-Being, Income and Relative Concerns in the UK," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 113(1), pages 81-105, August.
    4. Karlsdotter, Kristina & Martín Martín, José J. & López del Amo González, M. Puerto, 2012. "Multilevel analysis of income, income inequalities and health in Spain," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(7), pages 1099-1106.
    5. Chee Hon Chan & Ho Kit Wong & Paul Siu Fai Yip, 2017. "Associations of relative income deprivation with perceived happiness and self-rated health among the Hong Kong Chinese population," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 62(6), pages 697-707, July.
    6. Hilda Osafo Hounkpatin & Alex Wood & Gordon Brown & Graham Dunn, 2015. "Why does Income Relate to Depressive Symptoms? Testing the Income Rank Hypothesis Longitudinally," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 124(2), pages 637-655, November.
    7. Awaworyi Churchill, Sefa & Smyth, Russell, 2021. "Energy poverty and health: Panel data evidence from Australia," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C).
    8. Adjaye-Gbewonyo, Kafui & Kawachi, Ichiro, 2012. "Use of the Yitzhaki Index as a test of relative deprivation for health outcomes: A review of recent literature," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 129-137.
    9. Sun, Ping & Unger, Jennifer B. & Palmer, Paula & Ma, Huiyan & Xie, Bin & Sussman, Steve & Johnson, C. Anderson, 2012. "Relative income inequality and selected health outcomes in urban Chinese youth," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 84-91.
    10. Jiwei Chen, 2021. "Do minimum wage increases benefit worker health? Evidence from China," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 473-499, June.
    11. Kåre Bævre & Øystein Kravdal, 2014. "The effects of earlier income variation on mortality: An analysis of Norwegian register data," Population Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 68(1), pages 81-94, March.
    12. Akay, Alpaslan & Martinsson, Peter & Ralsmark, Hilda, 2019. "Relative concerns and sleep behavior," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 1-14.
    13. Joan Costa-i-Font & Cristina Hernandez-Quevedo & Azusa Sato, 2013. "A 'Health Kuznets' Curve'? Cross-Country and Longitudinal Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 4446, CESifo.
    14. Boone, Jan, 2020. "Pricing above Value: Selling to an Adverse Selection Market," Other publications TiSEM eda6a1de-4db6-49a6-87e4-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    15. Cristina Blanco Pérez & Xavier Ramos, 2010. "Polarization And Health," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 56(1), pages 171-185, March.
    16. Kuo, Chun-Tung & Chiang, Tung-liang, 2013. "The association between relative deprivation and self-rated health, depressive symptoms, and smoking behavior in Taiwan," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 39-44.
    17. Grönqvist, Hans & Johansson, Per & Niknami, Susan, 2012. "Income inequality and health: Lessons from a refugee residential assignment program," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 617-629.
    18. Hounkpatin, Hilda Osafo & Wood, Alex M. & Dunn, Graham, 2016. "Does income relate to health due to psychosocial or material factors? Consistent support for the psychosocial hypothesis requires operationalization with income rank not the Yitzhaki Index," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 76-84.
    19. Edward Anderson & Maria Ana Jalles D'Orey & Maren Duvendack & Lucio Esposito, 2017. "Does Government Spending Affect Income Inequality? A Meta-Regression Analysis," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(4), pages 961-987, September.
    20. Boone, Jan, 2018. "Basic versus supplementary health insurance: Access to care and the role of cost effectiveness," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 53-74.
    21. Elena Bárcena-Martín & Cortés Aguilar Alexandra & Ana I. Moro Egido, 2013. "The role of proximity and social comparisons on subjective well-being," ThE Papers 13/10, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
    22. Boone, Jan, 2020. "Pricing above Value: Selling to an Adverse Selection Market," Discussion Paper 2020-023, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    23. Boone, Jan, 2020. "Pricing above Value: Selling to an Adverse Selection Market," Other publications TiSEM 700b2f3e-d1c8-4422-9b54-f, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Jones, Andrew M. & Wildman, John, 2008. "Health, income and relative deprivation: Evidence from the BHPS," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 308-324, March.
    2. Owen O'Donnell & Eddy Van Doorslaer & Tom Van Ourti, 2013. "Health and Inequality," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-170/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Maite Blázquez Cuesta & Santiago Budría, 2013. "Does income deprivation affect people’s mental well-being?," Working Papers 1312, Banco de España.
    4. Lucy Bechtel & Grace Lordan & D. S. Prasada Rao, 2012. "Income Inequality And Mental Health—Empirical Evidence From Australia," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(S1), pages 4-17, June.
    5. Maite Blázquez & Elena Cottini & Ainhoa Herrarte, 2014. "The socioeconomic gradient in health: how important is material deprivation?," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 12(2), pages 239-264, June.
    6. Cuesta, Maite Blázquez & Budría, Santiago, 2015. "Income deprivation and mental well-being: The role of non-cognitive skills," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 16-28.
    7. Angus Deaton, 2003. "Health, Inequality, and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 113-158, March.
    8. Wildman, John, 2003. "Modelling health, income and income inequality: the impact of income inequality on health and health inequality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 521-538, July.
    9. Sun, Yu & You, Wen, 2016. "Relative-deprivation effects on child health in China," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 235926, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    10. Ken Judge & Iain Paterson, 2001. "Poverty, Income Inequality and Health," Treasury Working Paper Series 01/29, New Zealand Treasury.
    11. Duclos, Jean-Yves, 2006. "Liberté ou égalité?," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 82(4), pages 441-476, décembre.
    12. Maite Blázquez Cuesta & Elena Cottini & Herrarte, A. (Ainhoa), 2012. "GINI DP 39: Socioeconomic Gradient in Health: How Important is Material Deprivation?," GINI Discussion Papers 39, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
    13. Ed Hopkins, 2008. "Inequality, happiness and relative concerns: What actually is their relationship?," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 6(4), pages 351-372, December.
    14. Vincent Hildebrand & Philippe Kerm, 2009. "Income inequality and self-rated health status: Evidence from the european community household panel," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 46(4), pages 805-825, November.
    15. Grönqvist, Hans & Johansson, Per & Niknami, Susan, 2012. "Income inequality and health: Lessons from a refugee residential assignment program," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 617-629.
    16. Clark, Andrew E. & D'Ambrosio, Conchita, 2014. "Attitudes to Income Inequality: Experimental and Survey Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 8136, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Umar Serajuddin & Paolo Verme, 2015. "Who is Deprived? Who Feels Deprived? Labor Deprivation, Youth, and Gender in Morocco," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 61(1), pages 140-163, March.
    18. Petri Böckerman, 2013. "Top Income Shares and Mortality: Evidence from Advanced Countries," Journal of Income Distribution, Ad libros publications inc., vol. 22(1), pages 57-69, March.
    19. Loree, Jacob, 2015. "State Level Income Inequality and Individual Self-Reported Health Status: Evidence from the United States," MPRA Paper 72638, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Benno Torgler & Markus Schaffner & Bruno S. Frey & Sascha L. Schmidt, 2008. "Looking Awkward When Winning and Foolish When Losing: Inequity Aversion and Performance in the Field," CREMA Working Paper Series 2008-11, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:18:y:2009:i:2:p:125-145. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.