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Understanding the vertical equity judgements underpinning health inequality measures

  • Paul Allanson
  • Dennis Petrie

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.

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File URL: http://www.dundee.ac.uk/media/dundeewebsite/economicstudies/documents/discussion/DDPE_264.pdf
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Paper provided by Economic Studies, University of Dundee in its series Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics with number 264.

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Length: 12 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dun:dpaper:264
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  1. 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.
  2. Allanson, Paul & Petrie, Dennis & Gerdtham, Ulf-G, 2008. "Longitudinal analysis of income-related health inequality," SIRE Discussion Papers 2008-38, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  3. Wagstaff, Adam, 2002. "Inequality aversion, health inequalities, and health achievement," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2765, The World Bank.
  4. Coral del Río & Olga Alonso-Villar, 2007. "New Unit-Consistent Intermediate Inequality Indices," Working Papers 63, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  5. Kjellsson , Gustav & Gerdtham, Ulf-G, 2011. "Correcting the Concentration Index for Binary Variables," Working Papers 2011:4, Lund University, Department of Economics.
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  8. Buhong Zheng, 2007. "Unit-Consistent Decomposable Inequality Measures," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(293), pages 97-111, 02.
  9. Lambert, Peter & Zheng, Buhong, 2011. "On the consistent measurement of attainment and shortfall inequality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 214-219, January.
  10. Wagstaff, Adam, 2009. "Correcting the concentration index: A comment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 516-520, March.
  11. Le Grand, Julian, 1987. "Inequalities in health : Some international comparisons," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 182-191.
  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.
  13. 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.
  14. Bossert, Walter & Pfingsten, Andreas, 1990. "Intermediate inequality: concepts, indices, and welfare implications," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 117-134, April.
  15. 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.
  16. Bleichrodt, Han & Rohde, Kirsten I.M. & Van Ourti, Tom, 2012. "An experimental test of the concentration index," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 86-98.
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