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The socioeconomic gradient of obesity in Ireland


  • David (David Patrick) Madden


Using the nationally representative Slan dataset we calculate concentration indices for the incidence of obesity for men and women. We finder higher concentration indices for women than for men, but we also find that concentration indices fell between 2002 and 2007. However this appears to be owing to an increased incidence of obesity amongst better off people rather than decreased obesity amongst the less well-off. A decomposition of the concentration indices suggest that the greatest contribution to the gradient comes from the combination of lower rates of obesity amongst those with 3rd level education and their higher income.

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  • David (David Patrick) Madden, 2010. "The socioeconomic gradient of obesity in Ireland," Working Papers 201029, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201029

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Erreygers, Guido, 2009. "Correcting the Concentration Index: A reply to Wagstaff," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 521-524, March.
    2. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
    3. Ljungvall, Åsa & Gerdtham, Ulf-G., 2010. "More equal but heavier: A longitudinal analysis of income-related obesity inequalities in an adult Swedish cohort," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 221-231, January.
    4. Smed, Sinne & Jensen, Jorgen D. & Denver, Sigrid, 2007. "Socio-economic characteristics and the effect of taxation as a health policy instrument," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(5-6), pages 624-639.
    5. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
    6. van Doorslaer, Eddy & Wagstaff, Adam & Bleichrodt, Han & Calonge, Samuel & Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Gerfin, Michael & Geurts, Jose & Gross, Lorna & Hakkinen, Unto & Leu, Robert E., 1997. "Income-related inequalities in health: some international comparisons," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 93-112, February.
    7. Wagstaff, Adam, 2009. "Correcting the concentration index: A comment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 516-520, March.
    8. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Cawley, John, 2008. "Beyond BMI: The value of more accurate measures of fatness and obesity in social science research," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 519-529, March.
    9. Philip Clarke & Tom Van Ourti, 2009. "Correcting the Bias in the Concentration Index when Income is Grouped," CEPR Discussion Papers 599, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    10. Erreygers, Guido, 2009. "Correcting the Concentration Index," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 504-515, March.
    11. Xander Koolman & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2004. "On the interpretation of a concentration index of inequality," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 649-656.
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    Cited by:

    1. Karina Acosta, 2012. "La obesidad y su concentración según nivel socioeconómico en Colombia," REVISTA DE ECONOMÍA DEL ROSARIO, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO, July.
    2. Mohammad Hajizadeh & M. Karen Campbell & Sisira Sarma, 2014. "Socioeconomic inequalities in adult obesity risk in Canada: trends and decomposition analyses," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 15(2), pages 203-221, March.
    3. McGovern, Mark E., 2014. "Comparing the relationship between stature and later life health in six low and middle income countries," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 4(C), pages 128-148.
    4. David Madden, 2014. "The Socio-economic Gradient of Obesity in Ireland – Corrigendum," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 45(3), pages 451-454.
    5. Madden, D., 2016. "Child and Adolescent Obesity in Ireland: A Longitudinal Perspective," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 16/12, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    6. Davillas, Apostolos & Benzeval, Michaela, 2016. "Alternative measures to BMI: Exploring income-related inequalities in adiposity in Great Britain," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 223-232.
    7. Walsh, Brendan & Cullinan, John, 2015. "Decomposing socioeconomic inequalities in childhood obesity: Evidence from Ireland," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 16(C), pages 60-72.

    More about this item


    Obesity; Body Mass Index; Concentration Index; Decomposition; Obesity--Ireland; Obesity--Mathematical models; Body mass index;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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