Advanced

Income inequality and health: Importance of a cross-country perspective

Karlsson, Martin; Nilsson, Therese LU ; Lyttkens, Carl Hampus LU and Leeson, George (2010) In Social Science and Medicine 70. p.875-885
Abstract
This paper uses a unique dataset containing information collected in 2006 on individuals aged 40–79 in 21 countries throughout the world to examine whether individual income, relative income in a reference group, and income inequality are related to health status across middle/low and high-income countries. The dependent variable is self-assessed health (SAH), and as a robustness check, activities of daily living (ADL) are considered. The focus is particularly on assumptions regarding an individual’s reference group and on how the estimated relationships depend on the level of economic development. Correcting for national differences in health reporting behavior, individual absolute income is found to be positively

related to... (More)
This paper uses a unique dataset containing information collected in 2006 on individuals aged 40–79 in 21 countries throughout the world to examine whether individual income, relative income in a reference group, and income inequality are related to health status across middle/low and high-income countries. The dependent variable is self-assessed health (SAH), and as a robustness check, activities of daily living (ADL) are considered. The focus is particularly on assumptions regarding an individual’s reference group and on how the estimated relationships depend on the level of economic development. Correcting for national differences in health reporting behavior, individual absolute income is found to be positively

related to individual health. Furthermore, in the high-income sample, there is strong evidence that average income within a peer-age group is negatively related to health, thus supporting the relative income hypothesis. In middle/low-income countries, it is instead average regional income that is negatively associated with health. Finally, there is evidence of a negative relationship between income inequality and individual health in high-income countries. Overall, the results suggest that there might be important differences in these relationships between high-income and middle/low-income countries. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
cross-country, income distribution, reference groups, economic inequalities, Health
in
Social Science and Medicine
volume
70
pages
875 - 885
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000275971900012
  • scopus:77950342724
ISSN
1873-5347
DOI
10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.10.056
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
6d2d0114-1d3d-4413-9a7c-b4a985a40407 (old id 1514639)
date added to LUP
2009-12-09 09:01:01
date last changed
2018-06-17 03:10:30
@article{6d2d0114-1d3d-4413-9a7c-b4a985a40407,
  abstract     = {This paper uses a unique dataset containing information collected in 2006 on individuals aged 40–79 in 21 countries throughout the world to examine whether individual income, relative income in a reference group, and income inequality are related to health status across middle/low and high-income countries. The dependent variable is self-assessed health (SAH), and as a robustness check, activities of daily living (ADL) are considered. The focus is particularly on assumptions regarding an individual’s reference group and on how the estimated relationships depend on the level of economic development. Correcting for national differences in health reporting behavior, individual absolute income is found to be positively<br/><br>
related to individual health. Furthermore, in the high-income sample, there is strong evidence that average income within a peer-age group is negatively related to health, thus supporting the relative income hypothesis. In middle/low-income countries, it is instead average regional income that is negatively associated with health. Finally, there is evidence of a negative relationship between income inequality and individual health in high-income countries. Overall, the results suggest that there might be important differences in these relationships between high-income and middle/low-income countries.},
  author       = {Karlsson, Martin and Nilsson, Therese and Lyttkens, Carl Hampus and Leeson, George},
  issn         = {1873-5347},
  keyword      = {cross-country,income distribution,reference groups,economic inequalities,Health},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {875--885},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Social Science and Medicine},
  title        = {Income inequality and health: Importance of a cross-country perspective},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.10.056},
  volume       = {70},
  year         = {2010},
}