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Performance and Inequality in Health: A Comparison of Child and Maternal Health across Asia

Author

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  • Bénédicte H. Apouey

    () (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

  • Jacques Silber

    () (Bar-Ilan University [Israël])

Abstract

A country's performance in health attainment refers to both its achievement (level) and its improvement (evolution) in the health domain. Studies on performance generally measure health attainment using the average health level of the population, and quantify health improvement employing the change in attainment over time. However this approach is flawed because the change in attainment does not satisfy good properties, on the one hand, and because health attainment should not only account for the average health level, but also for disparities in health in the population, on the other hand. We propose a solution to the first limitation by following the lead of Kakwani (1993), who uses achievement and improvement measures which are based on attainment measures and which satisfy important properties. For the second limitation, we extend the work of Kakwani and propose new definitions of attainment that account for the average health level but also for health inequalities in the population. Specifically, we focus on overall and social health inequalities and on the health of the poor. By including these new attainment variables into Kakwani's indices, we generate new classes of achievement and improvement indices. Using data on 11 low and middle-income Asian countries in the twenty-first century, we highlight that child and maternal health have generally improved in recent decades, due to both an increase in the average health level and a decrease in inequalities.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-01599558
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01599558
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other

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