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Determinants of inequalities in health with focus on retired - with particular regard to retired Danes


  • Terkel, Christiansen

    () (University of Southern Denmark - Research Unit for Health Economics)

  • Jørgen, Lauridsen

    () (University of Southern Denmark - Research Unit for Health Economics)

  • Häkkinen, Unto



Previous studies of health inequality across European countries have shown intriguing results, in particular for Denmark with high index of income-related inequality in health. Status as retired was found to be the most important determinant of health inequality. We decomposed the inequality index and looked further into the contribution by retired to inequality in health by dividing the retired into two or three age groups. Hypotheses about the factors that constitute the contribution by retired to the overall inequality in health were tested (the share of the population being retired, the health of retired, and the income of retired). We used data from the European Household Panel and SHARE and found that all three factors contribute to the high contribution by retired to the overall inequality index particularly from Denmark. The contribution was most remarkable for the oldest age group among retired, which is explained by the fact that the group of younger retired has better coverage through labour market related pensions in supplement to the universal public pension scheme.

Suggested Citation

  • Terkel, Christiansen & Jørgen, Lauridsen & Häkkinen, Unto, 2010. "Determinants of inequalities in health with focus on retired - with particular regard to retired Danes," COHERE Working Paper 2009:4, University of Southern Denmark, COHERE - Centre of Health Economics Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:sduhec:2009_004

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wagstaff, Adam & van Doorslaer, Eddy & Watanabe, Naoko, 2003. "On decomposing the causes of health sector inequalities with an application to malnutrition inequalities in Vietnam," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 207-223, January.
    2. Andrew M. Jones, 2012. "health econometrics," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Palgrave Macmillan.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brekke, Kjell Arne & Grünfeld, Leo A. & Kverndokk, Snorre, 2011. "Explaining the Health Equality Paradox of the Welfare State," HERO On line Working Paper Series 2011:3, Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme.

    More about this item


    Health inequality; retired;

    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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