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Ex ante inequality of opportunity in health, decomposition and distributional analysis of biomarkers

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  • Davillas, Apostolos
  • M. Jones, Andrew

Abstract

We use a set of biomarkers to measure inequality of opportunity (IOp) in health in the UK. Applying a direct ex ante IOp approach, we find that inequalities in health attributed to circumstances account for a non-trivial part of the total health variation. For example, observed circumstances account for 20% of the total inequalities in our composite measure of multi-system health risk, allostatic load. Shapley decompositions show that apart from age and gender, education and childhood socioeconomic status are sources of IOp. We propose an extension to the decomposition of ex ante IOp to complement the mean-based approach, analysing the contribution of circumstances across the quantiles of the biomarker distributions. This shows that, for most of the biomarkers, the percentage contribution of socioeconomic circumstances, relative to differences attributable to age and gender, increases towards the right tail of the biomarker distribution, where health risks are more pronounced.

Suggested Citation

  • Davillas, Apostolos & M. Jones, Andrew, 2018. "Ex ante inequality of opportunity in health, decomposition and distributional analysis of biomarkers," ISER Working Paper Series 2018-13, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2018-13
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    Cited by:

    1. Lanlin Ding & Andrew M. Jones & Peng Nie, 2022. "Ex ante Inequality of Opportunity in Health among the Elderly in China: A Distributional Decomposition Analysis of Biomarkers," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 68(4), pages 922-950, December.
    2. Sinha, Kompal & Davillas, Apostolos & Jones, Andrew M. & Sharma, Anurag, 2021. "Do socioeconomic health gradients persist over time and beyond income? A distributional analysis using UK biomarker data," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 43(C).
    3. Kovacic, Matija & Orso, Cristina Elisa, 2022. "Trends in inequality of opportunity in health over the life cycle: The role of early-life conditions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 201(C), pages 60-82.
    4. Brenda Gannon & Danusha Jayawardana & Vicki Clifton, 2021. "Descriptive Data Analysis of Inequality of Economic Opportunity using the Queensland Family Cohort Pilot Study," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 54(3), pages 398-405, September.
    5. Agar Brugiavini & Raluca Elena Buia & Matija Kovacic & Cristina Elisa Orso, 2020. "Adverse childhood experiences and risk behaviours later in life: Evidence from SHARE countries," Working Papers 2020:08, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    6. Apostolos Davillas & Andrew M Jones, 2021. "The first wave of the COVID‐19 pandemic and its impact on socioeconomic inequality in psychological distress in the UK," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(7), pages 1668-1683, July.
    7. Davillas, Apostolos & M. Jones, Andrew, 2020. "The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on inequality of opportunity in psychological distress in the UK," ISER Working Paper Series 2020-07, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    8. Fernando Antonio Slaibe Postali & Maria Dolores M Diaz, Adriano Dutra Teixeira, Natalia Nunes Ferreira Batista, Rodrigo Moreno Serra, 2021. "Impact of primary care coverage on individual health: evidence from biomarkers in Brazil," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2021_01, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    9. Davillas, A.; & de Oliveira, V.H.; & Jones, A.M.;, 2022. "Is inconsistent reporting of self-assessed health persistent and systematic? Evidence from the UKHLS," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 22/05, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    10. Vincenzo Carrieri & Apostolos Davillas & Andrew M. Jones, 2020. "A latent class approach to inequity in health using biomarker data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(7), pages 808-826, July.
    11. Carrieri, Vincenzo & Davillas, Apostolos & Jones, Andrew M., 2021. "Equality of Opportunity and the Expansion of Higher Education in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 14485, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Mkupete Jaah Mkupete & Dieter Von Fintel & Ronelle Burger, 2022. "Decomposing inequality of opportunity in child health in Tanzania: The role of access to water and sanitation," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(11), pages 2465-2480, November.
    13. Cleary, Rebecca & Liu, Yizao & Carlson, Andrea C., 2022. "Differences in the Distribution of Nutrition Between Households Above and Below Poverty," 2022 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Anaheim, California 322267, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    14. Salas-Ortiz, A.;, 2022. "Accumulation and transmission of inequality of opportunity in the double burden of malnutrition: the case of Mexico," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 22/07, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    15. Atkins, Rose & Turner, Alex James & Chandola, Tarani & Sutton, Matt, 2020. "Going beyond the mean in examining relationships of adolescent non-cognitive skills with health-related quality of life and biomarkers in later-life," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C).
    16. Nie, P. & Ding, L. & Jones, A.M., 2020. "Inequality of opportunity in bodyweight among middle-aged and older Chinese: a distributional approach," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 20/14, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    17. Parra-Mujica, F. & Robson, M. & Cookson, R., 2021. "Socioeconomic Health Inequalities: Differences Between and Within Individuals," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 21/15, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    18. Davillas, Apostolos & Jones, Andrew M., 2020. "Regional inequalities in adiposity in England: distributional analysis of the contribution of individual-level characteristics and the small area obesogenic environment," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 38(C).

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    JEL classification:

    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality

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