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Revisiting the Income-Health Nexus: The Importance of Choosing the "Right" Indicator

  • Nicolas R. Ziebarth
  • Joachim R. Frick

We show that the choice of the welfare measure has a substantial impact on the degree of welfare-related health inequality. Combining various income and wealth measures with different health measures, we calculate 80 health concentration indices. The influence of the welfare measure is more pronounced when using subjective health measures than when using objective health measures.

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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 274.

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Length: 7 p.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp274
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  1. Richard Burkhauser & Shuaizhang Feng & Stephen Jenkins & Jeff Larrimore, 2008. "Estimating Trends in U.S. Income Inequality Using the Current Population Survey: The Importance of Controlling for Censoring," Working Papers 08-25, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. Udo Schneider & Christian Pfarr & Brit Schneider & Volker Ulrich, 2012. "I feel good! Gender differences and reporting heterogeneity in self-assessed health," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 251-265, June.
  3. Hendrik Jürges, 2006. "True health vs. response styles: Exploring cross-country differences in self-reported health," MEA discussion paper series 06105, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  4. 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.
  5. Edward Wolff & Ajit Zacharias, 2009. "Household wealth and the measurement of economic well-being in the United States," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 83-115, June.
  6. Ramses H. Abul Naga & Tarik Yalcin, 2007. "Inequality measurement for ordered response health data," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6538, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Ann Lecluyse, 2007. "Income-related health inequality in Belgium: a longitudinal perspective," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 237-243, September.
  8. Joachim R. Frick & Markus M. Grabka & Jan Marcus, 2007. "Editing and Multiple Imputation of Item-Non-Response in the 2002 Wealth Module of the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP)," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 18, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  9. Ziebarth, Nicolas, 2010. "Measurement of health, health inequality, and reporting heterogeneity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 116-124, July.
  10. Matthias Nübling & Hanfried H. Andersen & Axel Mühlbacher & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2007. "Computation of Standard Values for Physical and Mental Health Scale Scores Using the SOEP Version of SF12v2," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 171-182.
  11. ERREYGERS, Guido, 2006. "Correcting the Concentration Index," Working Papers 2006027, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  12. Nicolas R. Ziebarth, 2009. "Measurement of Health, the Sensitivity of the Concentration Index, and Reporting Heterogeneity," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 916, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  13. Jusot, Florence & Tubeuf, Sandy, 2011. "Social health inequalities among older Europeans : the contribution of social and family background," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/5401, Paris Dauphine University.
  14. Kakwani, Nanak & Wagstaff, Adam & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 1997. "Socioeconomic inequalities in health: Measurement, computation, and statistical inference," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 87-103, March.
  15. Schmitz, Hendrik, 2011. "Why are the unemployed in worse health? The causal effect of unemployment on health," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 71-78, January.
  16. Joachim R. Frick & Markus M. Grabka & Eva M. Sierminska, 2007. "Representative Wealth Data for Germany from the German SOEP: The Impact of Methodological Decisions around Imputation and the Choice of the Aggregation Unit," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 3, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  17. Hai Zhong, 2010. "The impact of missing data in the estimation of concentration index: a potential source of bias," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 255-266, June.
  18. Buhong Zheng, 2011. "A new approach to measure socioeconomic inequality in health," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 555-577, December.
  19. Le Grand, Julian, 1987. "Inequalities in health : Some international comparisons," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 182-191.
  20. Adam Wagstaff, 2005. "The bounds of the concentration index when the variable of interest is binary, with an application to immunization inequality," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(4), pages 429-432.
  21. Adam Wagstaff & Naoko Watanabe, 2003. "What difference does the choice of SES make in health inequality measurement?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(10), pages 885-890.
  22. Erreygers, Guido & Van Ourti, Tom, 2011. "Measuring socioeconomic inequality in health, health care and health financing by means of rank-dependent indices: A recipe for good practice," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 685-694, July.
  23. Magnus Lindelow, 2006. "Sometimes more equal than others: how health inequalities depend on the choice of welfare indicator," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(3), pages 263-279.
  24. Guido Erreygers & Tom Van Ourti, 2011. "Putting the cart before the horse. A comment on Wagstaff on inequality measurement in the presence of binary variables," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(10), pages 1161-1165, October.
  25. Owen O'Donnell & Eddy van Doorslaer & Adam Wagstaff & Magnus Lindelow, 2008. "Analyzing Health Equity Using Household Survey Data : A Guide to Techniques and Their Implementation," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6896.
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