The importance of individual heterogeneity in the composition of measures of socioeconomic inequality in health: an approach based on quantile regression
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Research GroupGrupo de I+D en Economía, Políticas Públicas y Salud
Knowledge AreaEconomía Aplicada
SponsorsThis paper derives from the project “Economic determinants of the distribution of health and health care in Europe” (known as the ECuity II Project), which is funded in part by the European Community’s Biomed II programme (contract BMH4-CT98-3352). We are grateful to the EC and to the Spanish Ministry of Education (grant PR2001-0295) and the Spanish DGES (project PB98-1058-C03-01) for financial support and to Statistics Canada for access to the NPHS data.
PublisherUniversidad Pompeu Fabra. Departamento de Economía y Empresa
Bibliographic CitationJONES, Andrew, LÓPEZ NICOLÁS, Ángel. The importance of individual heterogeneity in the gecomposition of measures of socioeconomic inequality in health: an approach based on quantile regression. Working Papers, 626: 26. Junio 2002
KeywordsDesigualdades en salud
This paper shows how recently developed regression-based methods for the decomposition of health inequality can be extended to incorporate individual heterogeneity in the responses of health to the explanatory variables. We illustrate our method with an application to the Canadian NPHS of 1994. Our strategy for the estimation of heterogeneous responses is based on the quantile regression model. The results suggest that there is an important degree of heterogeneity in the association of health to explanatory variables which, in turn, accounts for a substantial percentage of inequality in observed health. A particularly interesting finding is that the marginal response of health to income is zero for healthy individuals but positive and significant for unhealthy individuals. The heterogeneity in the income response reduces both overall health inequality and income related health inequality.
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