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Visible consumption, relative deprivation, and health: evidence from a developing country

Punarjit Roychowdhury ()
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Punarjit Roychowdhury: Indian Institute of Management, Indore

Economics Bulletin, 2018, vol. 38, issue 3, 1366-1380

Abstract: Empirical research that explores the psychosocial relationship between relative deprivation (RD) and health has measured RD in terms of income although income is not easily observable. I extend this literature by shifting the focus from income to its visible manifestations − visible consumption expenditure. This is likely to more appropriately match both theory and intuition since a prerequisite for RD to have any kind of psychosocial impact on health is that RD must be visible, i.e., it must be measured based on a metric which is observable. Utilizing newly available data from India, in consonance with the psychosocial hypothesis that asserts a negative relationship between RD and health, I find that higher (visible) RD is associated with worse overall health. Moreover, my results suggest the negative association between RD is stronger for individuals living in rural areas and individuals who belong to the lower end of the income distribution.

Keywords: Health; India; Psychosocial; Relative Deprivation; Visible Consumption (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I1 O1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018-07-18
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