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Ordinal and Cardinal Measures of Health Inequality - An Empirical Comparison

  • David Madden

    (University College of Dublin)

When measuring health inequality using ordinal data, analysts typically must choose between indices specifically based upon ordinal data and more standard indices using ordinal data which has been transformed into cardinal data. This paper compares inequality rankings across a number of different approaches and finds considerable sensitivity to the choice between ordinal and cardinal based indices. There is relatively little sensitivity to the ethical choices made by the analyst in terms of the weight attached to different parts of the distribution.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/economics/research/papers/2008/WP08.13.pdf
File Function: First version, 2008
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by School of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200813.

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Length: 11 pages
Date of creation: 05 May 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200813
Contact details of provider: Postal: UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4
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Web page: http://www.ucd.ie/economics

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Doorslaer, Eddy van & Jones, Andrew M., 2003. "Inequalities in self-reported health: validation of a new approach to measurement," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 61-87, January.
  4. Ramses H. Abul Naga & Tarik Yalcin, 2007. "Inequality measurement for ordered response health data," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6538, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Deirdre N. McCloskey & Stephen T. Ziliak, 1996. "The Standard Error of Regressions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 97-114, March.
  6. 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.
  7. Benedicte Apouey, 2007. "Measuring health polarization with self-assessed health data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(9), pages 875-894.
  8. Jorgen Lauridsen & Terkel Christiansen & Unto Häkkinen, 2004. "Measuring inequality in self-reported health-discussion of a recently suggested approach using Finnish data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 725-732.
  9. Nolan, Brian & Gannon, Brenda & Layte, Richard & Watson, Dorothy & Whelan, Christopher T. & Williams, James, 2002. "Monitoring Poverty Trends in Ireland: Results from the 2000 Living in Ireland survey," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number PRS45.
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