IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/qld/uq2004/381.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A Rethink on Measuring Health Inequalities Using the Gini Coefficient

Author

Abstract

Objective- We show that a standardized Gini coefficient that takes into account the feasible range of health inequality for a given health attribute is a better instrument than the normal Gini coefficient for quantifying inter-individual health inequality. Methods- The standardized Gini coefficient is equal to the normal Gini coefficient divided by the maximal attainable Gini coefficient, which is computed based on the maximal level of a health attribute an individual could achieve. Both the old and new coefficients are used to estimate the lifespan inequality of 185 countries for year 1990, 2000 and 2006, respectively. The results are then compared both across countries and over time. Findings- Firstly, the standardized Gini coefficient can still be related to the Lorenz curve. Secondly, changes in standardized Gini coefficients can be decomposed into respectively the change in the distribution of health outcomes and the change in the average health outcomes. Thirdly, the standardized Gini coefficient provides richer information and often gives different conclusions regarding health inequality in individual countries as well as country ranking, as compared to the normal Gini coefficient. Conclusion- Accounting for the maximal level of health attribute an individual could achieve is important when measuring health inequality. The proposed standardized Gini coefficient can provide more accurate information regarding the actual level of health inequality in a society than the normal Gini coefficient

Suggested Citation

  • Dennis Petrie & Kam Ki Tang, 2008. "A Rethink on Measuring Health Inequalities Using the Gini Coefficient," Discussion Papers Series 381, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  • Handle: RePEc:qld:uq2004:381
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.uq.edu.au/economics/abstract/381.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Wagstaff, Adam & Paci, Pierella & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 1991. "On the measurement of inequalities in health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 545-557, January.
    2. Audrey Siew Kim LIM & Kam Ki TANG, 2008. "Human Capital Inequality And The Kuznets Curve," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 46(1), pages 26-51.
    3. Mackenbach, Johan P. & Kunst, Anton E., 1997. "Measuring the magnitude of socio-economic inequalities in health: An overview of available measures illustrated with two examples from Europe," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 44(6), pages 757-771, March.
    4. Tang, Kam Ki & Chin, Jackie T.C. & Rao, D.S. Prasada, 2008. "Avoidable mortality risks and measurement of wellbeing and inequality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, pages 624-641.
    5. ., 1998. "Rent," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Classical Economics, chapter 127 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. 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.
    7. Manor, Orly & Matthews, Sharon & Power, Chris, 1997. "Comparing measures of health inequality," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 45(5), pages 761-771, September.
    8. Makin Anthony J, 2005. "Feasible Limits for External Deficits and Debt," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, pages 1-16.
    9. Dejian Lai & Jin Huang & Jan Risser & Asha Kapadia, 2008. "Statistical Properties of Generalized Gini Coefficient with Application to Health Inequality Measurement," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 87(2), pages 249-258, June.
    10. Petrie, Dennis & Tang, Kam Ki & Prasada Rao, D. S., 2009. "Measuring Avoidable Health Inequality with Realization of Conditional Potential Life Years (RCPLY)," SIRE Discussion Papers 2009-36, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    11. Kam Ki Tang & Dennis Petrie & D. S. Prasada Rao, 2009. "Measuring health inequality with realization of potential life years (RePLY)," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(S1), pages 55-75, April.
    12. Kuan Xu, 2003. "How Has the Literature on Gini's Index Evolved in the Past 80 Years?," Department of Economics at Dalhousie University working papers archive howgini, Dalhousie, Department of Economics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Leonardo Becchetti & Riccardo Massari & Paolo Naticchioni, 2014. "The drivers of happiness inequality: suggestions for promoting social cohesion," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(2), pages 419-442.
    2. Dennis Petriea & Kam Ki Tang & D. S. Prasada Rao, 2009. "Measuring Avoidable Health Inequality with Realization of Conditional Potential Life Years (RCPLY)," Discussion Papers Series 395, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:qld:uq2004:381. 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: (SOE IT). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/decuqau.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.