Explaining wealth-related health inequalities in European countries: the contribution of childhood circumstances and adulthood conditions
This analysis aims to understand the role and the extent of childhood circumstances in current inequality in health among adulthood. Health inequalities have extensively been explained by differences in living and working conditions, access or lifestyle, this article gets a step further and explores the particular role played by social background and parents’ vital status or age at death, on the health status of European older adults. The wealth-related health inequalities in European countries are measured using the popular concentration index. We then implement the decomposition method of the indices and evaluate the contribution of the various determinants of health introduced in interval regression models. This paper uses data for 11 European countries from the first wave of the 2004 Share. Income-related health inequalities are shown to be significantly higher in Germany, Greece and the Netherlands. Current socio-economic characteristics are the main drivers of these inequalities but childhood circumstances are also relevant determinants of these inequalities. In particular, the contribution of childhood social conditions is equal or even higher than the contribution of individual’s social occupation in adulthood in Italy, Belgium and Spain. Furthermore, parental health is likely to increase inequalities in Germany, France and Sweden. Our analysis confirms the hypothesis of a long-term influence of childhood circumstances on health in late adulthood in Europe. As childhood circumstances represent unfair sources of inequality, these results give an empirical evaluation of the contribution of inequalities of opportunities in health to wealth-related health inequalities.
|Date of creation:||2009|
|Publication status:||Published in The European Journal of Health Economics, February 2011, Volume 12, Issue 1, pages 61-77|
|Contact details of provider:|| Phone: Worsley Building, Level 11, Clarendon Way, LEEDS LS2 9NL|
Fax: +44 (0) 113 343 3470
Web page: http://medhealth.leeds.ac.uk/auhe
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Ann Lecluyse & Irina Cleemput, 2006. "Making health continuous: implications of different methods on the measurement of inequality," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 99-104.
- repec:adr:anecst:y:2006:i:83-84:p:04 is not listed on IDEAS
- 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.
- Van Ourti, Tom, 2003. "Socio-economic inequality in ill-health amongst the elderly: Should one use current or permanent income?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 219-241, March.
- Olsen, Karen M. & Dahl, Svenn-Åge, 2007. "Health differences between European countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(8), pages 1665-1678, April.
- Hendrik Jürges, 2007. "True health vs response styles: exploring cross‐country differences in self‐reported health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(2), pages 163-178, 02.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lee:wpaper:0902. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Judy Wright)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.