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Inequality aversion, health inequalities, and health achievement

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  • Wagstaff, Adam

Abstract

The author addresses two issues. First, how can health inequalities be measured so as to take into account policymakers'attitudes toward inequality? The Gini coefficient and the related concentration index embody one particular set of value judgments. Generalizing these indexes allows alternative sets of value judgments to be reflected. And second, how can information on health inequality be combined with information on the mean of the relevant distribution to obtain an overall measure of health"achievement?"Applying the approach developed by Wagstaff shows how much worse some countries perform when the focus switches from average health to an achievement index that also reflects the health gap between the poor and the better-off.

Suggested Citation

  • Wagstaff, Adam, 2002. "Inequality aversion, health inequalities, and health achievement," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2765, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2765
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Wagstaff, Adam & Paci, Pierella & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 1991. "On the measurement of inequalities in health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 545-557, January.
    2. Wagstaff, Adam, 1991. "QALYs and the equity-efficiency trade-off," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 21-41, May.
    3. Mackenbach, Johan P. & Kunst, Anton E., 1997. "Measuring the magnitude of socio-economic inequalities in health: An overview of available measures illustrated with two examples from Europe," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 44(6), pages 757-771, March.
    4. 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.
    5. Jenkins, Stephen, 1988. "Calculating Income Distribution Indices from Micro-Data," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 41(1), pages 139-42, March.
    6. Humphries, Karin H. & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2000. "Income-related health inequality in Canada," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 663-671, March.
    7. Gerdtham, U. -G. & Johannesson, M. & Lundberg, L. & Isacson, D., 1999. "A note on validating Wagstaff and van Doorslaer's health measure in the analysis of inequalities in health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 117-124, January.
    8. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1983. "On an Extension of the Gini Inequality Index," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(3), pages 617-628, October.
    9. Deon Filmer & Lant Pritchett, 1999. "The Effect of Household Wealth on Educational Attainment: Evidence from 35 Countries," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 25(1), pages 85-120.
    10. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
    11. Le Grand, Julian, 1987. "Inequalities in health : Some international comparisons," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 182-191.
    12. Wagstaff, Adam & Watanabe, Naoko, 2000. "Socioeconomic inequalities in child malnutrition in the developing world," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2434, The World Bank.
    13. Lerman, Robert I. & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1984. "A note on the calculation and interpretation of the Gini index," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 15(3-4), pages 363-368.
    14. Kakwani, Nanak & Wagstaff, Adam & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 1997. "Socioeconomic inequalities in health: Measurement, computation, and statistical inference," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 87-103, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health Systems Development&Reform; Public Health Promotion; Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Early Child and Children's Health; Disease Control&Prevention; Inequality; Governance Indicators; Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems; Regional Rural Development; Health Monitoring&Evaluation;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

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