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Measuring Socioeconomic Health Inequalities in Presence of Multiple Categorical Information

  • Paul Makdissi

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, 55 Laurier E., Ottawa,Ontario)

  • Myra Yazbeck

    ()

    (CIRPÉE and Department of Epidemiology Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, Canada)

While many of the measurement approaches in health inequality measurement assume the existence of a ratio-scale variable,most of the health information available in population surveys is given in the form of categorical variables. Therefore, the well-known inequality indices may not always be readily applicable to measure health inequality as it may result in the arbitrariness of the health concentration index's value. In this paper, we address this problem by changing the dimension in which the categorical information is used. We therefore exploit the breadth of this information, define a new ratio-scaled health status variable and develop positional stochastic dominance conditions that can be implemented in a context of categorical variables. We also propose a parametric class of population health and socioeconomic health inequality indices. Finally we provide a twofold empirical illustration using the Joint Canada/United States Surveys of Health 2004 and the National Health Interview Survey 2010.

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Paper provided by University of Ottawa, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1208E.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ott:wpaper:1208e
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  1. Kolm, Serge-Christophe, 1976. "Unequal inequalities. I," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 416-442, June.
  2. Mehran, Farhad, 1976. "Linear Measures of Income Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(4), pages 805-09, July.
  3. Rolf Aaberge, 2000. "Ranking intersectiong Lorenz Curves," ICER Working Papers 08-2000, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  4. Paul Makdissi & Stéphane Mussard, 2008. "Analyzing the impact of indirect tax reforms on rank-dependent social welfare functions: a positional dominance approach," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 385-399, April.
  5. Lambert, Peter & Zheng, Buhong, 2011. "On the consistent measurement of attainment and shortfall inequality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 214-219, January.
  6. Erreygers, Guido, 2009. "Correcting the Concentration Index: A reply to Wagstaff," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 521-524, March.
  7. Wagstaff, Adam, 2009. "Correcting the concentration index: A comment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 516-520, March.
  8. Beckman, Steve & James Smith, W. & Zheng, Buhong, 2009. "Measuring inequality with interval data," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 25-34, July.
  9. Wagstaff, Adam, 2002. "Inequality aversion, health inequalities and health achievement," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 627-641, July.
  10. Alkire, Sabina & Foster, James, 2011. "Counting and multidimensional poverty measurement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 476-487.
  11. 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.
  12. Fishburn, Peter C. & Willig, Robert D., 1984. "Transfer principles in income redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 323-328, December.
  13. 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.
  14. ERREYGERS, Guido, 2006. "Correcting the Concentration Index," Working Papers 2006027, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  15. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1978. "Measures of relative equality and their meaning in terms of social welfare," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 59-80, June.
  16. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1983. "On an Extension of the Gini Inequality Index," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(3), pages 617-28, October.
  17. Kakwani, Nanak, 1980. "On a Class of Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(2), pages 437-46, March.
  18. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
  19. Allison, R. Andrew & Foster, James E., 2004. "Measuring health inequality using qualitative data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 505-524, May.
  20. ERREYGERS, Guido, 2006. "Beyond the Health Concentration Index: An Atkinson alternative for the measurement of the socioeconomic inequality of health," Working Papers 2006029, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  21. 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.
  22. Buhong Zheng, 2011. "A new approach to measure socioeconomic inequality in health," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 555-577, December.
  23. Kolm, Serge-Christophe, 1976. "Unequal inequalities. II," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 82-111, August.
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