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Regional differences in socio-economic health inequalities in Spain

  • Pilar García Gómez
  • Ángel López

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.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 757.

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Date of creation: Mar 2004
Date of revision: Oct 2004
Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:757
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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  1. Wagstaff, Adam & Van Doorslaer, Eddy & Watanabe, Naoko, 2001. "On decomposing the causes of health sector inequalities with an application to malnutrition inequalities in Vietnam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2714, The World Bank.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
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