Inequality of Opportunities in Health in Europe: Why So Much Difference Across Countries?
Among inequalities in health, those which are explained by circumstances during childhood or parents' characteristics are recognized as inequalities of opportunities in health and are considered as the most unfair. Tackling health inequalities in later life and improving the underlying socioeconomic determinants for older people is at the core of the European Union healthy-ageing strategy. We use the 2004 Survey on Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe and examine the influence of social and family background on the probability of reporting a good self-assessed health in adulthood using logistic models in ten European countries. The comparison of the odds ratios associated with family background without and with adjustment for individual educational level and occupation allows assessing the direct influence of family background and its influence through the determination of individual social status. Using the Gini index, we evaluate the magnitude of inequalities of opportunities in health, regardless of the mechanism of transmission and consider it in comparison with several indicators of economic and sanitary conditions. Inequalities of opportunity are more marked in Mediterranean and Germanic countries than in Nordic and Benelux countries. For instance, they are twice more important in Spain than in Sweden. Whereas they are mainly explained by social reproduction in most countries a direct effect of fathers' occupation on adult health remains in Belgium, Germany, Italy and Spain. There are country-specific protective social backgrounds: son of agricultural workers in Belgium, and son of technicians or fathers in armed forces in Spain. Parents' longevity has a significant protective effect on adult health. Differences in inequalities of opportunities in health between European countries emphasize the importance of policies reducing either social reproduction or intergenerational reproduction of health.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: HEDG/HERC, Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom|
Phone: (0)1904 323776
Fax: (0)1904 323759
Web page: http://www.york.ac.uk/economics/postgrad/herc/hedg/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Hendrik Jürges, 2006.
"True Health vs. Response Styles: Exploring Cross-country Differences in Self-reported Health,"
Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin
588, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
- Hendrik Jürges, 2007. "True health vs response styles: exploring cross-country differences in self-reported health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(2), pages 163-178.
- Hendrik JÃ¼rges, 2006. "True health vs. response styles: Exploring cross-country differences in self-reported health," MEA discussion paper series 06105, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
- Rosemary Hyson & Janet Currie, 1999.
"Is the Impact of Health Shocks Cushioned by Socioeconomic Status? The Case of Low Birthweight,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 245-250, May.
- Janet Currie & Rosemary Hyson, 1999. "Is the Impact of Health Shocks Cushioned by Socioeconomic Status? The Case of Low Birthweight," NBER Working Papers 6999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Xander Koolman & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2004. "On the interpretation of a concentration index of inequality," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 649-656.
- Trannoy, A & Tubeuf, S & Jusot, F & Devaux, M, 2008.
"Inequality in Opportunities in Health in France: A first pass,"
Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers
08/24, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
- Alain Trannoy & Sandy Tubeuf & Florence Jusot & Marion Devaux, 2010. "Inequality of opportunities in health in France: a first pass," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(8), pages 921-938, August.
- Trannoy, Alain & Tubeuf, Sandy & Jusot, Florence & Devaux, Marion, 2010. "Inequality of Opportunities in Health in France: A First Pass," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/268, Paris Dauphine University.
- Sermet, Catherine & Tubeuf, Sandy & Devaux, Marion & Jusot, Florence, 2008. "Hétérogénéité sociale de déclaration de l’état de santé et mesure des inégalités de santé," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/423, Paris Dauphine University.
- repec:ese:iserwp:2005-15 is not listed on IDEAS
- Ahlburg, Dennis, 1998. "Intergenerational Transmission of Health," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 265-70, May.
- Cristina Hernández Quevedo & Andrew M Jones & Ángel López Nicolás & Nigel Rice, 2005.
"Socioeconomic inequalities in health: a comparative longitudinal analysis using the European Community Household Panel,"
Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers
05/12, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
- Hernández-Quevedo, Cristina & Jones, Andrew M. & López-Nicolás, Angel & Rice, Nigel, 2006. "Socioeconomic inequalities in health: A comparative longitudinal analysis using the European Community Household Panel," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(5), pages 1246-1261, September.
- Arnaud Lefranc & Nicolas Pistolesi & Alain Trannoy, 2008.
"Inequality Of Opportunities Vs. Inequality Of Outcomes: Are Western Societies All Alike?,"
Review of Income and Wealth,
International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 54(4), pages 513-546, December.
- Arnaud Lefranc & Nicolas Pistolesi & Alain Trannoy, 2006. "Inequality of opportunities vs. inequality of outcomes: Are Western societies all alike?," Working Papers 54, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
- Melchior, Maria & Lert, France & Martin, Magali & Ville, Isabelle, 2006. "Socioeconomic position in childhood and in adulthood and functional limitations in midlife: Data from a nationally-representative survey of French men and women," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(11), pages 2813-2824, December.
- FLEURBAEY, Marc & SCHOKKAERT, Erik, 2007.
"Unfair inequalities in health and health care,"
CORE Discussion Papers
2007090, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- Hertzman, Clyde & Power, Chris & Matthews, Sharon & Manor, Orly, 2001. "Using an interactive framework of society and lifecourse to explain self-rated health in early adulthood," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 53(12), pages 1575-1585, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:10/26. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Rawlings)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.