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Beyond the Health Concentration Index: An Atkinson alternative for the measurement of the socioeconomic inequality of health


  • ERREYGERS, Guido


The Health Concentration Index is a frequently used indicator for the measurement of the socioeconomic inequality of health. This note starts from a discussion of some of the weaknesses of this index. It then presents two possible alternative measures. The first is an adaptation of the Concentration Index. The second and more important of the two is constructed by following an Atkinson approach.

Suggested Citation

  • ERREYGERS, Guido, 2006. "Beyond the Health Concentration Index: An Atkinson alternative for the measurement of the socioeconomic inequality of health," Working Papers 2006029, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ant:wpaper:2006029

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    1. repec:adr:anecst:y:2006:i:83-84 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Wagstaff, Adam & Paci, Pierella & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 1991. "On the measurement of inequalities in health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 545-557, January.
    3. Bommier, Antoine & Stecklov, Guy, 2002. "Defining health inequality: why Rawls succeeds where social welfare theory fails," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 497-513, May.
    4. Marc Fleurbaey, 2006. "Health, equity and social welfare," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 83-84, pages 21-59.
    5. A. B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon, 1982. "The Comparison of Multi-Dimensioned Distributions of Economic Status," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 183-201.
    6. Evans, William N & Viscusi, W Kip, 1991. "Estimation of State-Dependent Utility Functions Using Survey Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(1), pages 94-104, February.
    7. Viscusi, W Kip & Evans, William N, 1990. "Utility Functions That Depend on Health Status: Estimates and Economic Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 353-374, June.
    8. 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.
    9. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
    10. 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.
    11. repec:adr:anecst:y:2006:i:83-84:p:02 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Bleichrodt, Han & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2006. "A welfare economics foundation for health inequality measurement," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 945-957, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Makdissi, Paul & Yazbeck, Myra, 2014. "Measuring socioeconomic health inequalities in presence of multiple categorical information," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 84-95.
    2. Maria Livia Stefanescu & Stefan Stefanescu, 2014. "Using the median and the mean of the income to establish the poverty lines," Computational Methods in Social Sciences (CMSS), "Nicolae Titulescu" University of Bucharest, Faculty of Economic Sciences, vol. 2(1), pages 21-27, June.
    3. Fleurbaey, Marc & Schokkaert, Erik, 2009. "Unfair inequalities in health and health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 73-90, January.
    4. H. Eme Ichoku & William Fonta & Michael Thiede, 2011. "Socioeconomic gradients in self-rated health: a developing country case study of Enugu State, Nigeria," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 179-202, August.
    5. Erreygers, Guido, 2009. "Correcting the Concentration Index," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 504-515, March.
    6. Makdissi, Paul & Yazbeck, Myra, 2016. "Avoiding blindness to health status in health achievement and health inequality measurement," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 39-47.
    7. Sonne-Schmidt, Christoffer & Tarp, Finn & Peter, Lars, 2011. "Ordinal multidimensional inequality: theory and application to the 2x2 case," MPRA Paper 72838, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. repec:ntu:ntugeo:vol2-iss1-14-021 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Zhong, Hai, 2009. "A multivariate analysis of the distribution of individual's welfare in China: What is the role of health?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 1062-1070, December.
    10. Erreygers, Guido, 2009. "Can a single indicator measure both attainment and shortfall inequality?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 885-893, July.
    11. Paul Makdissi & Myra Yazbeck, 2012. "Avoiding Blinding to Health Status: A New Class of Health Achievement and Inequality Indices," Working Papers 1207E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    12. Makdissi, Paul & Sylla, Daouda & Yazbeck, Myra, 2013. "Decomposing health achievement and socioeconomic health inequalities in presence of multiple categorical information," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 964-968.

    More about this item


    Health inequality; Socioeconomic inequality; Concentration Index; Atkinson Index;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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