Accounting for trends in health poverty: A decomposition analysis for Britain, 1991-2008
We use data from the British Household Panel Survey to analyse changes in poverty of self-reported health from 1991 to 2008. Recently introduced ordinal counterparts of the classical Foster, Greer, Thorbecke (1984) (FGT) poverty measures are used to decompose changes in self-reported health poverty over time into within-group health poverty changes and population shifts between groups. We also provide statistical inference for these ordinal FGT indices. Results suggest that the health poverty rate increased independently of health poverty threshold chosen. In case of other ordinal FGT indices, which are sensitive to depth and distribution of health poverty, results depend on the health poverty threshold. The subgroup decompositions of changes in total health poverty in Britain suggest that the most important poverty-increasing factors include a rise of both health poverty and population shares of persons cohabiting and couples with no children as well as an increase of the population of retired persons.
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