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GINI DP 39: Socioeconomic Gradient in Health: How Important is Material Deprivation?

  • Maite Blázquez Cuesta


    (Dpto de Análisis Económico: Teoría Económica e Historia Económica , Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)

  • Elena Cottini


    (Departments and Institutes of Economics, Institute for Industrial and Labour Economics)

  • Herrarte, A. (Ainhoa)

In this paper we use the Spanish Living Conditions Survey (2005-2008) to investigate whether there is a socioeconomic gradient in health when alternative measures of socioeconomic status, apart from income, are considered. In particular we construct a material deprivation index that reflects some minimum standards of quality of life, and we analyze its impact on self-reported health. To address this issue, we use a deprivation index that incorporates comparison effects with societal peers and we estimate health equations using a random effects model. Furthermore, the model is extended to include a Mundlak term that corrects for the potential correlation between the error term and the regressors. Our results reveal that the relationship between health and income operates through comparison information with respect to societal peers. In contrast, material deprivation in terms of financial difficulties, basic necessities and housing conditions exerts a direct effect on individual health.

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Paper provided by AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies in its series GINI Discussion Papers with number 39.

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Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aia:ginidp:39
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