The relative income hypothesis: does it exist over time? Evidence from the BHPS
The relative income hypothesis suggests that income inequality has a detrimental affect on people´s health. This previously well accepted relationship has recently come under scrutiny. Some claim it is a statistical artefact, while others argue that aggregate level data are not sophisticated enough to adequately test for its existence. This paper adds to the debate by estimating the relationship between income inequality and health using panel data. A random effects ordered probit is used to estimate the relationship between net household income, regional income inequality and self-reported health, for 3736 individuals over 9 years, while controlling for individual socioeconomic characteristics like gender, social class and age. Significant differences in income inequality across regions and considerable changes in health are found across years, however, the panel data estimating regressions find no significant association between any of the measures of income inequality and self-reported health. Therefore, it would appear that the relative income hypothesis does not exist over time and does not exist within Britain.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2005|
|Date of revision:||Jun 2005|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 9 Mappin Street, SHEFFIELD, S1 4DT|
Phone: +44 114 222 3399
Fax: + 44 (0)114 222 3458
Web page: http://www.shef.ac.uk/economics
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Laporte, Audrey, 2002. "A note on the use of a single inequality index in testing the effect of income distribution on mortality," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(9), pages 1561-1570, November.
- Soobader, Mah-Jabeen & LeClere, Felicia B., 1999. "Aggregation and the measurement of income inequality: effects on morbidity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 733-744, March.
- Angus Deaton, 2001.
"Health, Inequality, and Economic Development,"
NBER Working Papers
8318, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Angus Deaton, 2002. "Health, inequality, and economic development," Working Papers 270, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
- Angus Deaton, 2016. "Health, Inequality and Economic Development," Working Papers id:8791, eSocialSciences.
- Angus Deaton, 2002. "Health, inequality, and economic development," Working Papers 209, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
- Deaton, A., 2001. "Health, Inequality, and Economic Development," Papers 200, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
- Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey D. Milyo, 2001. "Income inequality and health," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 151-155.
- Wildman, John, 2003. "Income related inequalities in mental health in Great Britain: analysing the causes of health inequality over time," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 295-312, March.
- Butler, J S & Moffitt, Robert, 1982. "A Computationally Efficient Quadrature Procedure for the One-Factor Multinomial Probit Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 761-764, May.
- Stephen P. Jenkins, 1999. "Analysis of income distributions," Stata Technical Bulletin, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(48), pages -.
- Guillaume R. Frechette, 2001. "Random-effects ordered probit," Stata Technical Bulletin, StataCorp LP, vol. 10(59), pages -.
- Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 1999. "Re-Examining the Evidence of an Ecological Association between Income Inequality and Health," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9922, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
- Jennifer Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 1998.
"Income Inequality and Health Status in the United States: Evidence From the Current Population Survey,"
Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University
9815, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
- Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 2002. "Income Inequality and Health Status in the United States: Evidence from the Current Population Survey," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(3), pages 510-539.
- Angus Deaton, 1999. "Inequalities in Income and Inequalities in Health," NBER Working Papers 7141, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ellison, George T. H., 2002. "Letting the Gini out of the bottle? Challenges facing the relative income hypothesis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 561-576, February.
- Cowell, Frank A & Victoria-Feser, Maria-Pia, 1996. "Robustness Properties of Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(1), pages 77-101, January.
- John D. Hey & Peter J. Lambert, 1980. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient: Comment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 95(3), pages 567-573.
- Dean R. Lillard & Richard V. Burkhauser, 2005. "Income Inequality and Health: A Cross-Country Analysis," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 125(1), pages 109-118.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:shf:wpaper:2005013. 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: (Jacob Holmes)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.