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Inequality aversion in income, health, and income-related health

Jeremiah Hurley, Emmanouil Mentzakis () and Marjan Walli-Attaei

Journal of Health Economics, 2020, vol. 70, issue C

Abstract: Based on a survey of a sample of the general public, we estimate inequality aversion across income, health, and bivariate income-health. Inequality aversion is domain specific: mean inequality aversion is greater for income than for health, but the underlying distributions of aversion attitudes differ, with a highly bi-modal distribution of inequality-aversion values for health in which nearly half the participants display very low aversion and nearly half display very high aversion. Aversion to income-related health inequality is greater than that to income or health alone. Consistent with previous literature, we find only weak associations between aversion attitudes and individual characteristics. The magnitude of the estimates implies potentially large gains in welfare from reducing inequality in these domains.

Keywords: Inequality aversion; Income inequality; Health inequality; Social preferences; Empirical social choice (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D31 D63 I14 I31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2019.102276

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Journal of Health Economics is currently edited by J. P. Newhouse, A. J. Culyer, R. Frank, K. Claxton and T. McGuire

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