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Why a positive link between age and income-related health inequality?

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Abstract

This study uses Swedish data to analyze why the SES-health gradient increases with ageing. Since different measures of SES and health capture different aspects, we use this information to explore the age increase in health inequality and to discriminate between three types of explanations, namely: i) age increase in the causal SES effect; ii) reversed health effect on SES, and iii) lifecycle variation in the measurement errors in SES and health. Thus, our analysis points in the direction that the age increase in health inequality is primarily caused by a reversed causality going from health to annual income, and the probable mechanism is health affecting the labour supply of the individual. In addition the study report that the age variation in health inequality seem to have increased over time, and during the 1980th the age variation was rather limited. The evidence in our study is not conclusive, but all evidence documented agrees and supports this conclusion.

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  • Nordin , Martin & Gerdtham , Ulf-G, 2010. "Why a positive link between age and income-related health inequality?," Working Papers 2010:12, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lunewp:2010_012
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    File URL: http://project.nek.lu.se/publications/workpap/Papers/WP10_12.pdf
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    1. Ulf-G. Gerdtham & Magnus Johannesson, 2004. "Absolute Income, Relative Income, Income Inequality, and Mortality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
    2. van Kippersluis, Hans & O'Donnell, Owen & van Doorslaer, Eddy & Van Ourti, Tom, 2010. "Socioeconomic differences in health over the life cycle in an Egalitarian country," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 428-438, February.
    3. Anders Bohlmark & Matthew J. Lindquist, 2006. "Life-Cycle Variations in the Association between Current and Lifetime Income: Replication and Extension for Sweden," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 879-900, October.
    4. Eddy van Doorslaer & Xander Koolman, 2004. "Explaining the differences in income-related health inequalities across European countries," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 609-628.
    5. Kristina Burström & Magnus Johannesson & Finn Diderichsen, 2003. "The value of the change in health in Sweden 1980|81 to 1996|97," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(8), pages 637-654.
    6. Ulf- G. Gerdtham, 1997. "Equity in Health Care Utilization: Further Tests Based on Hurdle Models and Swedish Micro Data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(3), pages 303-319.
    7. van Doorslaer, Eddy & Wagstaff, Adam & Bleichrodt, Han & Calonge, Samuel & Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Gerfin, Michael & Geurts, Jose & Gross, Lorna & Hakkinen, Unto & Leu, Robert E., 1997. "Income-related inequalities in health: some international comparisons," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 93-112, February.
    8. Kristina Burström & Magnus Johannesson & Finn Diderichsen, 2005. "Increasing socio-economic inequalities in life expectancy and QALYs in Sweden 1980-1997," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(8), pages 831-850.
    9. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Johannesson, Magnus, 2000. "Income-related inequality in life-years and quality-adjusted life-years," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 1007-1026, November.
    10. Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Johannesson, Magnus, 2002. "Do Life-Saving Regulations Save Lives?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 231-249, May.
    11. Ulf-G. Gerdtham & Pravin K. Trivedi, 2001. "Equity in Swedish health care reconsidered: new results based on the finite mixture model," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(6), pages 565-572.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nordin, Martin & Dackehag, Margareta & Gerdtham, Ulf-G., 2013. "Socioeconomic inequalities in drug utilization for Sweden: Evidence from linked survey and register data," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 106-117.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    health inequality; socioeconomic status; income; education;

    JEL classification:

    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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