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Eur J Health Econ. 2007 Sep;8(3):237-43. Epub 2006 Dec 21.

Income-related health inequality in Belgium: a longitudinal perspective.

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  • 1Department of Economics, Faculty of Applied Economics, University of Antwerp, Prinsstraat 13 B202, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium. ann.lecluyse@ua.ac.be


This paper provides new evidence on the degree of income-related inequality in self-assessed health in Belgium. First of all, we combine the time dimension, which has been shown to be very important in the analysis of inequality, and the use of the recently developed interval regression approach to transform a categorical health variable in a continuous one. Second, we measure how the long-run inequality differs from the short-run inequality. Finally, we decompose this health-related income mobility index as well as the long-run concentration index (CI) itself into its contributors. Using data from the panel survey of Belgian households (1994-2002), we find that health is pro-rich distributed and that its inequality is underestimated by 9.45% when neglecting the dynamics of individuals over time. Income, education, job status and age are the most important contributors in the CI and the difference between the short-run and long-run inequality.

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