Measuring equity in health: a normative decomposition
This paper proposes a new approach to the measurement of equality of opportunity in health, based on the path independent Atkinson index of equality. The proposed decomposition is applied both to the ex-ante and the ex-post methodologies recently adopted by the literature. The approach is applied to the measurement of equality of opportunity in health using ten waves of the British Household Panel Survey. Results confirm that socioeconomic background is an important factor determining individual health in adulthood while the incidence of equality of opportunity is around one third of the overall equality according to a substantial stable pattern over years. Our findings also depict that differences in education, in social conditions and in the life style are crucial determinants of the shape of the observed health equalities in adulthood, explaining how potential differences can be derived by the combination of different circumstances.
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