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Understanding the vertical equity judgements underpinning health inequality measures

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  • Paul Allanson
  • Dennis Petrie

Abstract

The choice of income-related health inequality measures in comparative studies is often determined by custom and analytical concerns, without much explicit consideration of the vertical equity judgements underlying alternative measures. This note employs an inequality map to illustrate how it these judgements that affect the ranking of populations by health inequality. In particular, it is shown that relative indices of inequality in health attainments and shortfalls embody distinct vertical equity judgments, where each may represent ethically defensible positions in specific contexts. Further research is needed to explore people’s preferences over distributions of income and health.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Allanson & Dennis Petrie, 2012. "Understanding the vertical equity judgements underpinning health inequality measures," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 264, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
  • Handle: RePEc:dun:dpaper:264
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Claudio Zoli, 2012. "Characterizing Inequality Equivalence Criteria," Working Papers 32/2012, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    2. Allanson, Paul & Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Petrie, Dennis, 2010. "Longitudinal analysis of income-related health inequality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, pages 78-86.
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    8. Coral Río & Olga Alonso-Villar, 2010. "New unit-consistent intermediate inequality indices," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), pages 505-521.
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    12. Clarke, Philip M. & Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Johannesson, Magnus & Bingefors, Kerstin & Smith, Len, 2002. "On the measurement of relative and absolute income-related health inequality," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(11), pages 1923-1928, December.
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    15. Le Grand, Julian, 1987. "Inequalities in health : Some international comparisons," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 182-191.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Dennis Petrie & Kam Tang & D. Rao, 2015. "Measuring Health Inequality with Realization of Conditional Potential Life Years (RCPLY)," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 122(1), pages 21-44, May.
    2. Bénédicte H. Apouey & Jacques Silber, 2016. "Performance and Inequality in Health: A Comparison of Child and Maternal Health across Asia," Post-Print halshs-01599558, HAL.
    3. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-01357085 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Calara, Paul Samuel & Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Petrie, Dennis, 2016. "The Dynamics of Income-Related Health Inequalities in Australia versus Great Britain," Working Papers 2016:20, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    5. Mosquera, Paola A. & San Sebastian, Miguel & Waenerlund, Anna-Karin & Ivarsson, Anneli & Weinehall, Lars & Gustafsson, Per E., 2016. "Income-related inequalities in cardiovascular disease from mid-life to old age in a Northern Swedish cohort: A decomposition analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 135-144.
    6. Kristof Bosmans, 2016. "Consistent Comparisons of Attainment and Shortfall Inequality: A Critical Examination," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(11), pages 1425-1432, November.
    7. Heckley, Gawain & Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Kjellsson, Gustav, 2016. "A general method for decomposing the causes of socioeconomic inequality in health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 89-106.
    8. Kjellsson, Gustav & Gerdtham, Ulf-G., 2013. "Lost in Translation: Rethinking the Inequality-Equivalence Criteria for Bounded Health Variables," Working Papers 2013:18, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 02 Jan 2014.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    health inequality; vertical equity judgements; inequality equivalence criteria; inequality maps;

    JEL classification:

    • D39 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Other
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality

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