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Inequality aversion, health inequalities, and health achievement

  • Wagstaff, Adam

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.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2765.

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Date of creation: 31 Jan 2002
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2765
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Wagstaff, Adam, 1991. "QALYs and the equity-efficiency trade-off," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 21-41, May.
  4. 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.
  5. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
  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. Humphries, Karin H. & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2000. "Income-related health inequality in Canada," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 663-671, March.
  8. Wagstaff, Adam & Watanabe, Naoko, 2000. "Socioeconomic inequalities in child malnutrition in the developing world," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2434, The World Bank.
  9. Le Grand, Julian, 1987. "Inequalities in health : Some international comparisons," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 182-191.
  10. 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.
  11. 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 617-28, October.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
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