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Correcting the Concentration Index for Binary Variables

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This paper discusses measurement of socioeconomic inequalities in prevalence of a health condition. As its point of departure, it uses the recent exchange between Guido Erreygers and Adam Wagstaff in this journal, where they discuss merits of their own corrections of the frequently used concentration index. The paper first reconciles the debate between Erreygers and Wagstaff and discusses the value judgments that are hidden behind their indices. Secondly, it discusses when the property level independence is desirable. Thirdly, it empirically illustrates whether and when the choice of index affects comparisons between contexts using binary health indicators from the European Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement (SHARE). The results show that choice of index matters and that it not only affects the magnitude of measured inequalities but also internal ranking between countries.

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  • Kjellsson , Gustav & Gerdtham, Ulf-G, 2011. "Correcting the Concentration Index for Binary Variables," Working Papers 2011:4, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lunewp:2011_004
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    1. van Doorslaer, Eddy & Gerdtham, Ulf-G., 2003. "Does inequality in self-assessed health predict inequality in survival by income? Evidence from Swedish data," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(9), pages 1621-1629, November.
    2. Lasso de la Vega, Casilda & Aristondo, Oihana, 2012. "Proposing indicators to measure achievement and shortfall inequality consistently," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 578-583.
    3. Erreygers, Guido, 2009. "Correcting the Concentration Index: A reply to Wagstaff," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 521-524, March.
    4. Udaya S Mishra & William Joe, 2010. "Socioeconomic Inequalities in Childhood Undernutrition in India An Application of the Corrected Concentration Index," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(1), pages 847-854.
    5. Paul Allanson & Dennis Petrie, 2013. "On The Choice Of Health Inequality Measure For The Longitudinal Analysis Of Income‐Related Health Inequalities," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(3), pages 353-365, March.
    6. 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.
    7. Guido Erreygers & Tom Van Ourti, 2011. "Putting the cart before the horse. A comment on Wagstaff on inequality measurement in the presence of binary variables," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(10), pages 1161-1165, October.
    8. Hernández-Quevedo, Cristina & Jones, Andrew M. & López-Nicolás, Angel & Rice, Nigel, 2006. "Socioeconomic inequalities in health: A comparative longitudinal analysis using the European Community Household Panel," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(5), pages 1246-1261, September.
    9. Wagstaff, Adam, 2009. "Correcting the concentration index: A comment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 516-520, March.
    10. 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.
    11. Adam Wagstaff, 2011. "The concentration index of a binary outcome revisited," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(10), pages 1155-1160, October.
    12. 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, April.
    13. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10510 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Erreygers, Guido, 2009. "Correcting the Concentration Index," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 504-515, March.
    15. Kakwani, Nanak & Wagstaff, Adam & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 1997. "Socioeconomic inequalities in health: Measurement, computation, and statistical inference," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 87-103, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    health inequalities; socioeconomic inequality; concentration index; binary variables;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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