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Time and chance happen to them all? Duration modelling versus lifetime incidence of cancer


  • Howdon, D.


While current work on socioeconomic inequality in cancer looks at lifetime incidence of cancer, it is more informative to consider survival times: healthy time lived without cancer. This paper uses the rst wave of, and latest longitudinal follow-up to, the Health and Lifestyle Survey (HALS) to investigate the social gradient in cancer, considering both lifetime incidence and duration models of time-to-cancer. Contrary to previous work on the relationship between circumstances and the development of cancer, notably Deaton (2002), a social gradient in time to cancer is observed, with those in the lowest two social classes developing cancer signi cantly (at the 5% level of signi cance) sooner than individuals in the highest social class. This relationship holds after excluding smokers from the sample. No gradient is observed when only lifetime incidence of cancer is considered.

Suggested Citation

  • Howdon, D., 2012. "Time and chance happen to them all? Duration modelling versus lifetime incidence of cancer," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 12/06, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:12/06

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Balia, Silvia & Jones, Andrew M., 2008. "Mortality, lifestyle and socio-economic status," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 1-26, January.
    2. David Cutler & Angus Deaton & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2006. "The Determinants of Mortality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 97-120, Summer.
    3. Silvia Balia & Andrew M. Jones, 2011. "Catching the habit: a study of inequality of opportunity in smoking‐related mortality," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 174(1), pages 175-194, January.
    4. Petri Böckerman & Pekka Ilmakunnas, 2009. "Unemployment and self-assessed health: evidence from panel data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(2), pages 161-179.
    5. Vallejo-Torres, Laura & Morris, Stephen, 2010. "The contribution of smoking and obesity to income-related inequalities in health in England," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(6), pages 1189-1198, September.
    6. Douglas, Stratford & Hariharan, Govind, 1994. "The hazard of starting smoking: Estimates from a split population duration model," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 213-230, July.
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    More about this item


    health; duration analysis; smoking; mortality; inequality of opportunity; determinants of health; lifestyles;

    JEL classification:

    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality

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