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Racial/Ethnic Health Disparity in the U.S.: A Decomposition Analysis

Kajal Lahiri () and Zulkarnain Pulungan ()
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Zulkarnain Pulungan: Department of Economics, University at Albany—SUNY, Albany, NY 12222, USA

Econometrics, 2021, vol. 9, issue 2, 1-14

Abstract: Following recent econometric developments, we use self-assessed general health on a Likert scale conditioned by several objective determinants to measure health disparity between non-Hispanic Whites and minority groups in the United States. A statistical decomposition analysis is conducted to determine the contributions of socio-demographic and neighborhood characteristics in generating disparities. Whereas, 72% of health disparity between Whites and Blacks is attributable to Blacks’ relatively worse socio-economic and demographic characteristics, it is only 50% for Hispanics and 65% for American Indian Alaska Natives. The role of a number of factors including per capita income and income inequality vary across the groups. Interestingly, “blackness” of a county is associated with better health for all minority groups, but it affects Whites negatively. Our findings suggest that public health initiatives to eliminate health disparity should be targeted differently for different racial/ethnic groups by focusing on the most vulnerable within each group.

Keywords: heteroskedastic ordered probit; BRFSS data; Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition; racial/ethnic discrimination; college education (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B23 C C00 C01 C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C8 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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