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Economic Inequality and Health: Looking Beyond Aggregate Indicators

Petri Böckerman (), Edvard Johansson (), Satu Helakorpi and Antti Uutela

No 1104, Discussion Papers from The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy

Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between relative income inequality and health in Finland, using individual microdata over the period 1993-2005. Our data allows us to analyse a large spectrum of health indicators. Overall, our results suggest that income inequality is not associated with increased morbidity in the population. The results for women differ to quite a large extent from those of men and the pooled sample. There is evidence that an increase in the Gini coefficient is negatively related to the probability of good physical health and no disability retirement. For men, relative income inequality is clearly not important for health.

Keywords: health; health behaviour; economic inequality; relative income inequality; relative deprivation; Gini coefficient (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I12 I30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 21 pages
Date: 2007
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea
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