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J Health Econ. 2016 Jul;48:89-106. doi: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2016.03.006. Epub 2016 Apr 7.

A general method for decomposing the causes of socioeconomic inequality in health.

Author information

1
Health Economics & Management, Institute of Economic Research, Lund University, Box 117, 22100, Sweden; Health Economics Unit, Department of Clinical Sciences, Medicon Village, Lund University, Lund, Sweden. Electronic address: Gawain.heckley@med.lu.se.
2
Health Economics & Management, Institute of Economic Research, Lund University, Box 117, 22100, Sweden; Health Economics Unit, Department of Clinical Sciences, Medicon Village, Lund University, Lund, Sweden; Department of Economics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
3
Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden; Centre of Health Economics at Gothenburg University (CHEGU), Gothenburg, Sweden.

Abstract

We introduce a general decomposition method applicable to all forms of bivariate rank dependent indices of socioeconomic inequality in health, including the concentration index. The technique is based on recentered influence function regression and requires only the application of OLS to a transformed variable with similar interpretation. Our method requires few identifying assumptions to yield valid estimates in most common empirical applications, unlike current methods favoured in the literature. Using the Swedish Twin Registry and a within twin pair fixed effects identification strategy, our new method finds no evidence of a causal effect of education on income-related health inequality.

KEYWORDS:

Concentration index; Decomposition methods; Inequality measurement; Recentered influence function

PMID:
27137844
DOI:
10.1016/j.jhealeco.2016.03.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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