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Equity in health and health care

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  • FLEURBAEY, Marc

    () (Université Paris-Descartes, France; Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

  • SCHOKKAERT, Erik

    () (Department of Economics, K.U.Leuven, Belgium; Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

Abstract

We discuss the conceptual foundations of measuring (in)equity in health and health care. After an overview of the recent developments in the measurement of socio-economic inequalities and in racial disparities, we show how these partial approaches can be seen as special cases of the more general social choice approach to fair allocation and equality of opportunity. We suggest that this latter framework offers many new analytical possibilities and is sufficiently rich to accommodate various ethical views. We emphasize that horizontal and vertical equity are intricately linked to each other. We then argue that a focus on overall well-being is necessary to put the partial results on health (care) inequity into a broader perspective and we discuss the pros and cons of various methods to evaluate the joint distribution of health and income: multidimensional inequality indices, dominance approaches, the use of happiness measures and finally the concept of equivalent income. Throughout the chapter the theoretical analysis is complemented with an overview of recent empirical results.

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  • FLEURBAEY, Marc & SCHOKKAERT, Erik, 2011. "Equity in health and health care," LIDAM Discussion Papers CORE 2011026, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2011026
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    2. Bijlsma, Michiel & Boone, Jan & Zwart, Gijsbert, 2017. "The complementarity between risk adjustment and community rating: Distorting market outcomes to facilitate redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 21-37.
    3. Hurley, Jeremiah & Mentzakis, Emmanouil & Walli-Attaei, Marjan, 2020. "Inequality aversion in income, health, and income-related health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    4. Aizawa, Toshiaki, 2019. "Ex-ante Inequality of Opportunity in Child Malnutrition: New Evidence from Ten Developing Countries in Asia," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 144-161.
    5. Davillas, Apostolos & Jones, Andrew M, 2020. "Ex ante inequality of opportunity in health, decomposition and distributional analysis of biomarkers," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).
    6. Thomas Leoni, 2015. "Soziale Unterschiede in Gesundheit und Inanspruchnahme der Gesundheitsversorgung," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 88(8), pages 649-662, August.
    7. David Pérez-Mesa & Gustavo A. Marrero & Sara Darias-Curvo, 2020. "Child health inequality and opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 557, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    8. Asada, Yukiko & Grignon, Michel & Hurley, Jeremiah & Kirkland, Susan, 2020. "Cautionary tails of grip strength in health inequality studies: An analysis from the Canadian longitudinal study on aging," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 265(C).
    9. Zhao, Guangchuan & Cao, Xinbang & Ma, Chao, 2020. "Accounting for horizontal inequity in the delivery of health care: A framework for measurement and decomposition," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 13-24.
    10. Joan Costa-i-Font & Frank Cowell, 2019. "Incorporating Inequality Aversion in Health-Care Priority Setting," CESifo Working Paper Series 7503, CESifo.
    11. Aitor Calo-Blanco, 2015. "Health, responsibility and taxation with a fresh start," Working Papers 15.06, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
    12. Aitor Calo-Blanco, 2017. "Health, responsibility and taxation with a fresh start," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 177-199, June.
    13. N. N., 2015. "WIFO-Monatsberichte, Heft 8/2015," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 88(8), August.
    14. Pulok, Mohammad Habibullah & van Gool, Kees & Hall, Jane, 2020. "Inequity in physician visits: the case of the unregulated fee market in Australia," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 255(C).
    15. Joan Costa-i-Font & Frank Cowell & Belén Saénz de Miera Juárez, 2017. "Does Insurance Expansion Alter Health Inequality and Mobility? Evidence from the Mexican Seguro Popular," CESifo Working Paper Series 6788, CESifo.
    16. Barbosa, Estela Capelas & Cookson, Richard, 2019. "Multiple inequity in health care: An example from Brazil," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 228(C), pages 1-8.
    17. Pulok, Mohammad Habibullah & van Gool, Kees & Hall, Jane, 2020. "Horizontal inequity in the utilisation of healthcare services in Australia," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 124(11), pages 1263-1271.
    18. Marianne Tenand & Pieter Bakx & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2020. "Equal long‐term care for equal needs with universal and comprehensive coverage? An assessment using Dutch administrative data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(4), pages 435-451, April.
    19. De Matteis, Domenico & Ishizaka, Alessio & Resce, Giuliano, 2019. "The ‘postcode lottery’ of the Italian public health bill analysed with the hierarchy Stochastic Multiobjective Acceptability Analysis," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    20. Van de Poel, Ellen & Van Doorslaer, Eddy & O’Donnell, Owen, 2012. "Measurement of inequity in health care with heterogeneous response of use to need," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 676-689.
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    22. Frankovic, Ivan & Kuhn, Michael, 2019. "Access to health care, medical progress and the emergence of the longevity gap: A general equilibrium analysis," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 14(C).

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    14. Paul Allanson & Dennis Petrie, 2013. "On The Choice Of Health Inequality Measure For The Longitudinal Analysis Of Income‐Related Health Inequalities," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(3), pages 353-365, March.
    15. Carrieri, V. & Wuebker, A., 2012. "Assessing inequalities in preventive care use in Europe: A special case of health-care inequalities?," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 12/25, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    equity; racial disparities; equality of opportunity; equivalent income; dominance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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