Income Inequality and Individual Health: Exploring the Association in a Developing Country
We use individual and multi-level data from Zambia on child nutritional health to test the absolute income hypothesis (AIH), the relative income hypothesis (RIH) and the income inequality hypothesis (IIH). The results confirm a non-linear positive relation between economic resources and health, confirming the AIH. For the RIH we find sensitivity to what reference group is used. Most interestingly, while the IIH predicts that income inequality, independent from individual income, will affect health negatively, we find higher income inequality to robustly associate with better child health. The results suggest that the relationship between inequality and health in developing contexts might be very different from the predominant view in the existing literature mainly based on developed countries, and that alternative mechanisms might mediate the relationship in poor countries.
|Date of creation:||08 Mar 2012|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund,Sweden|
Phone: +46 +46 222 0000
Fax: +46 +46 2224613
Web page: http://www.nek.lu.se/en
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- Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese & Lyttkens, Carl Hampus & Leeson, George, 2010. "Income inequality and health: Importance of a cross-country perspective," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(6), pages 875-885, March.
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CEPR Discussion Papers
533, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
- Leigh, Andrew & Jencks, Christopher, 2007. "Inequality and mortality: Long-run evidence from a panel of countries," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-24, January.
- Leigh, Andrew & Jencks, Christopher, 2006. "Inequality and Mortality: Long-Run Evidence from a Panel of Countries," Working Paper Series rwp06-032, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- 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).
- Douglas Miller & Christina Paxson, 2001.
"Relative Income, Race, and Mortality,"
269, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
- Ettner, Susan L., 1996. "New evidence on the relationship between income and health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 67-85, February.
- Behrman, Jere R., 1988. "Nutrition, health, birth order and seasonality : Intrahousehold allocation among children in rural India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 43-62, February.
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