Measuring Socioeconomic Health Inequalities in Presence of Multiple Categorical Information
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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