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Measuring educational differences in mortality among women living in highly unequal societies with defective data: the case of Brazil

Elisenda Rentería and Cassio Turra ()
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Elisenda Rentería: Cedeplar-UFMG

Textos para Discussão Cedeplar-UFMG from Cedeplar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

Abstract: Social and economic inequalities in health and mortality are widely observed around the world. Individuals with lower socioeconomic status – usually defined by education, income and occupational status – have lower chances of survival and higher morbidity rates than individuals with higher socioeconomic status (Goldman, 2001). This association extends across all the distribution of socioeconomic variables, also within the highest social groups, defining what researchers call social “gradient” in health (Adler et al., 1994). This association has been studied for both sexes, but the relationship among women remains unclear. Also, it is a question rarely studied in developing countries, mostly due to a lack of reliable information. That is the case of Brazil, were although social and income inequality has been very high and persistent over time, with a long tradition of studies in this field (Barros, Foguel e Ulyssea 2007), we know very little about health and mortality disparities. Some previous works suggest a great gap in mortality by income in Brazil (Wood & Carvalho, 1988). However, all the efforts to investigate mortality inequality in Brazil run into the lack of information, especially in adult ages. This article combines information about the mother’s survival and education of respondents from a nationally representative household survey collected in Brazil in 1996 (Pesquisa de Padrões de Vida - PPV), to examine how mortality among adult women varied by level of education during the last decades. This study contributes to the discussion on the adult’s mortality differentials in developing countries with defective data.

Keywords: Mortality Rates; Socioeconomic Status; Brazil (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-hea and nep-lab
Date: 2009-03
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