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J Health Econ. 2011 Sep;30(5):1113-23. doi: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2011.07.004. Epub 2011 Jul 18.

Accounting for the dead in the longitudinal analysis of income-related health inequalities.

Author information

  • 1Economics Studies, School of Business, University of Dundee, Perth Road, Dundee DD1 4HN, Scotland, UK. d.j.petrie@dundee.ac.uk

Abstract

This paper develops an accounting framework to consider the effect of deaths on the longitudinal analysis of income-related health inequalities. Ignoring deaths or using Inverse Probability Weights (IPWs) to re-weight the sample for mortality-related attrition can produce misleading results. Incorporating deaths into the longitudinal analysis of income-related health inequalities provides a more complete picture in terms of the evaluation of health changes in respect to socioeconomic status. We illustrate our work by investigating health mobility from 1999 till 2004 using the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS). We show that for Scottish males explicitly accounting for the dead rather than using IPWs to account for mortality-related attrition changes the direction of the relationship between relative health changes and initial income position, from negative to positive, while for other groups it significantly increases the strength of the positive relationship. Incorporating the dead may be vital in the longitudinal analysis of health inequalities.

PMID:
21820193
PMCID:
PMC3181404
DOI:
10.1016/j.jhealeco.2011.07.004
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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