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“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who in this land is fairest of all?”—Distributional sensitivity in the measurement of socioeconomic inequality of health

Guido Erreygers (), Philip Clarke and Tom Van Ourti

Journal of Health Economics, 2012, vol. 31, issue 1, 257-270

Abstract: This paper explores four alternative indices for measuring health inequalities in a way that takes into account attitudes towards inequality. First, we revisit the extended concentration index which has been proposed to make it possible to introduce changes into the distributional value judgements implicit in the standard concentration index. Next, we suggest an alternative index based on a different weighting scheme. In contrast to the extended concentration index, this new index has the ‘symmetry’ property. We also show how these indices can be generalized so that they satisfy the ‘mirror’ property, which may be seen as a desirable property when dealing with bounded variables. We compare the different indices empirically for under-five mortality rates and the number of antenatal visits in developing countries.

Keywords: Health inequality; Socioeconomic inequality; Extended concentration index; Distributional sensitivity; Small-sample bias (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I19 I32 D63 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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