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Regional differences in socio-economic health inequalities in Spain

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  • Pilar García Gómez
  • Ángel López

Abstract

This paper reports an analysis of income related health inequalities at the Autonomous Community level in Spain using the self assessed health measure in the 2001 edition of the Encuesta Nacional de Salud. We use recently developed methods in order to cardinalise and model self assessed health within a regression framework, decompose the sources of inequality and explain the observed differences across regions. We find that the regions with the highest levels of mean health tend to enjoy the lowest degrees of income related health inequality and vice-versa. The main feature characterizing regions where income related health inequality is low is the absence of a positive gradient between income and health. In turn, the regions where income related health inequality is greater are characterized by a strong and significant positive gradient between health and income. These results suggest that policies aimed at eliminating the gradient between health and income can potentially lead to greate r reductions in socio-economic health inequalities than policies aimed at redistributing income.

Suggested Citation

  • Pilar García Gómez & Ángel López, 2004. "Regional differences in socio-economic health inequalities in Spain," Economics Working Papers 757, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2004.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:757
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Wagstaff, Adam & van Doorslaer, Eddy & Watanabe, Naoko, 2003. "On decomposing the causes of health sector inequalities with an application to malnutrition inequalities in Vietnam," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 207-223, January.
    2. Wagstaff, Adam & van Doorslaer, Eddy & Paci, Pierella, 1989. "Equity in the Finance and Delivery of Health Care: Some Tentative Cross-country Comparisons," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 89-112, Spring.
    3. 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.
    4. Jaume Puig Junoy & Angel Lopez Nicoĺs, 1995. "Assessing health care infrastructure at the regional level: a statistical approach," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(12), pages 463-466.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pilar García Gómez & Ángel López Nicolás, 2005. "Socio-economic inequalities in health in Catalonia," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 175(4), pages 103-121, december.
    2. Joan Costa Font & Joan Gil Trasfi, 2006. "Socio-Economic Inequalities in Reported Depression in Spain : A Decomposition Approach," Working Papers in Economics 152, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
    3. Pilar García Gómez & Angel López Nicolás, 2006. "Health shocks, employment and income in the Spanish labour market," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(9), pages 997-1009.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health inequalities; decomnposition analysis; Spain;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models

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