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Ordinal and cardinal measures of health inequality: an empirical comparison

  • David Madden

    (School of Economics, University College, Dublin, Ireland)

When measuring health inequality using ordinal data, analysts typically must choose between indices specifically based upon ordinal data and more standard indices using ordinal data, which has been transformed into cardinal data. This paper compares inequality rankings across a number of different approaches and finds considerable sensitivity to the choice between ordinal- and cardinal-based indices. There is relatively little sensitivity to the ethical choices made by the analyst in terms of the weight attached to different parts of the distribution. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.1472
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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 19 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 243-250

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:19:y:2010:i:2:p:243-250
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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  1. Jorgen Lauridsen & Terkel Christiansen & Unto Häkkinen, 2004. "Measuring inequality in self-reported health-discussion of a recently suggested approach using Finnish data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 725-732.
  2. Deirdre N. McCloskey & Stephen T. Ziliak, 1996. "The Standard Error of Regressions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 97-114, March.
  3. repec:dgr:uvatin:20060108 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Ramses H. Abul Naga & Tarik Yalcin, 2007. "Inequality Measurement forOrdered Response Health Data," STICERD - Distributional Analysis Research Programme Papers 92, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  5. Eddy van Doorslaer & Xander Koolman, 2004. "Explaining the differences in income-related health inequalities across European countries," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 609-628.
  6. Nolan, Brian & Gannon, Brenda & Layte, Richard & Watson, Dorothy & Whelan, Christopher T. & Williams, James, 2002. "Monitoring Poverty Trends in Ireland: Results from the 2000 Living in Ireland survey," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number PRS45.
  7. Doorslaer, Eddy van & Jones, Andrew M., 2003. "Inequalities in self-reported health: validation of a new approach to measurement," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 61-87, January.
  8. Allison, R. Andrew & Foster, James E., 2004. "Measuring health inequality using qualitative data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 505-524, May.
  9. Ann Lecluyse & Irina Cleemput, 2006. "Making health continuous: implications of different methods on the measurement of inequality," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 99-104.
  10. Benedicte Apouey, 2007. "Measuring health polarization with self-assessed health data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(9), pages 875-894.
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