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Inequality of opportunity for healthy aging in Europe


  • Bora Kim


This study quantifies the inequality of opportunity (IOp) for healthy aging in Europe. Unlike earlier studies, an objective health indicator, grip strength, is used as an outcome. Using the longitudinal data from the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (Wave 1-5), I introduce a general model where explanatory variables portray individual lifetime trajectory. All predictors are disentangled into illegitimate and legitimate components. The Hausman-Taylor (1981) estimator is employed to deal with the presence of unobserved heterogeneity and endogeneity of time-variant lifestyle. Both upper and lower bounds of IOp are considered by incorporating different sets of illegitimate factors under six scenarios. Parallel results based on self-reported health are provided. We find that IOp in a subjective measure is less sensitive to age, but more to unobserved factors. Finally, the magnitude of IOp is compared between men and women as well as across ten states Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Italy. Overall, the results are sensitive to the choice in health indicator.

Suggested Citation

  • Bora Kim, 2016. "Inequality of opportunity for healthy aging in Europe," Working Papers of Department of Economics, Leuven 549636, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), Department of Economics, Leuven.
  • Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:549636

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