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Robust rankings of socioeconomic health inequality using a categorical variable

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  • Paul Makdissi
  • Myra Yazbeck

Abstract

When assessing socioeconomic health inequalities, researchers often draw upon measures of income inequality that were developed for ratio scale variables. As a result, the use of categorical data (such as self‐reported health status) produces rankings that may be arbitrary and contingent to the numerical scale adopted. In this paper, we develop a method that overcomes this issue by providing conditions for which these rankings are invariant to the numerical scale chosen by the researcher. In doing so, we draw on the insight provided by Allison and Foster (2004) and extend their method to the dimension of socioeconomic inequality by exploiting the properties of rank‐dependent indices such as Wagstaff (2002) achievement and extended concentration indices. We also provide an empirical illustration using the National Institute of Health Survey 2012.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Makdissi & Myra Yazbeck, 2017. "Robust rankings of socioeconomic health inequality using a categorical variable," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(9), pages 1132-1145, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:26:y:2017:i:9:p:1132-1145
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.3499
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/hec.3499
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Mohamad Khaled & Paul Makdissi & Myra Yazbeck, 2020. "On Absolute Socioeconomic Health Inequality Comparisons," Working Papers 2020-072, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    2. Khaled, Mohamad A. & Makdissi, Paul & Yazbeck, Myra, 2018. "Income-related health transfers principles and orderings of joint distributions of income and health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 315-331.
    3. Mohamad A. Khaled & Paul Makdissi & Myra Yazbeck, 2018. "On the importance of the upside down test in absolute socioeconomic health inequality comparisons," Discussion Papers Series 600, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    4. Nesson, Erik T. & Robinson, Joshua J., 2019. "On the measurement of health and its effect on the measurement of health inequality," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 207-221.

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