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Does income-related health inequality change as the population ages? Evidence from Swedish panel data


  • M. Kamrul Islam

    (Department of Economics, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway)

  • Ulf-G. Gerdtham
  • Philip Clarke

    (School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia)

  • Kristina Burström


This paper explains and empirically assesses the channels through which population aging may impact on income-related health inequality. Long panel data of Swedish individuals is used to estimate the observed trend in income-related health inequality, measured by the concentration index (CI). A decomposition procedure based on a fixed effects model is used to clarify the channels by which population aging affects health inequality. Based on current income rankings, we find that conventional unstandardized and age-gender-standardized CIs increase over time. This trend in CIs is, however, found to remain stable when people are instead ranked according to lifetime (mean) income. Decomposition analyses show that two channels are responsible for the upward trend in unstandardized CIs - retired people dropped in relative income ranking and the coefficient of variation of health increases as the population ages. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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  • M. Kamrul Islam & Ulf-G. Gerdtham & Philip Clarke & Kristina Burström, 2010. "Does income-related health inequality change as the population ages? Evidence from Swedish panel data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(3), pages 334-349.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:19:y:2010:i:3:p:334-349 DOI: 10.1002/hec.1479

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. van Kippersluis, Hans & Van Ourti, Tom & O'Donnell, Owen & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2009. "Health and income across the life cycle and generations in Europe," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 818-830, July.
    2. Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Lundborg, Petter & Lyttkens, Carl Hampus & Nystedt, Paul, 2012. "Do Socioeconomic Factors Really Explain Income-Related Inequalities in Health? Applying a Twin Design to Standard Decomposition Analysis," Working Papers 2012:21, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    3. Petrie, Dennis & Allanson, Paul & Gerdtham, Ulf-G., 2011. "Accounting for the dead in the longitudinal analysis of income-related health inequalities," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1113-1123.
    4. Mosquera, Paola A. & San Sebastian, Miguel & Waenerlund, Anna-Karin & Ivarsson, Anneli & Weinehall, Lars & Gustafsson, Per E., 2016. "Income-related inequalities in cardiovascular disease from mid-life to old age in a Northern Swedish cohort: A decomposition analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 135-144.
    5. Guillem López i Casasnovas & Marina Soley Bori, 2012. "The Economic Crisis and it Effects on the Social Determinants of Health," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 201(2), pages 113-132, June.
    6. Nordin, Martin & Dackehag, Margareta & Gerdtham, Ulf-G., 2013. "Socioeconomic inequalities in drug utilization for Sweden: Evidence from linked survey and register data," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 106-117.
    7. Calara, Paul Samuel & Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Petrie, Dennis, 2016. "The Dynamics of Income-Related Health Inequalities in Australia versus Great Britain," Working Papers 2016:20, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    8. Martin Siegel & Markus Luengen & Stephanie Stock, 2013. "On age-specific variations in income-related inequalities in diabetes, hypertension and obesity," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 58(1), pages 33-41, February.
    9. Mototsugu Fukushige & Noriko Ishikawa & Satoko Maekawa, 2012. "A modified Kakwani measure for health inequality," Health Economics Review, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-7, December.

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