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Socio-economic inequalities in health in Catalonia

  • Pilar García Gómez
  • Ángel López

In this paper we measure the degree of income related inequality in mental health as measured by the GHQ instrument and general health as measured by the EQOL-5D instrument for the Catalan population. We find that income is the main contributor to inequality, although the share of inequality in mental health that can be explained by income is much greater than the corresponding share of inequality in general health. We also find that the variation in demographic structure reduces income related inequality in mental health but increases income related inequality in general health. The regional variations in both instruments for health are striking, with the Barcelona districts faring relatively bad with respect to the rest of geographical areas and Lleida being the health region where, all else held equal, the population reports the greatest level of health. A big share of inequality in the two health measures, but specially mental health, is due to the favourable position in both health and income of those who enjoy an indefinite contract with respect to the rest of individuals. We also find that risky working conditions affect both health measures and are able to explain an important share of socio-economic inequality.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 758.

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Date of creation: Mar 2004
Date of revision: Oct 2005
Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:758
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  1. 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.
  2. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Hugh Gravelle, 2003. "Measuring income related inequality in health: standardisation and the partial concentration index," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(10), pages 803-819.
  6. 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.
  7. Andrew M. Jones & Angel López, 2003. "Measurement and Explanation of Socioeconomic Inequality in Health with Longitudinal Data," Working Papers 35, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  8. Michael Greenacre, 2008. "Correspondence analysis of raw data," Economics Working Papers 1112, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 2009.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
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