Inadequate Bivariate Measures of Health Inequality: The Impact of Income Distribution

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Brekke, Kjell Arne og Snorre Kverndokk




The Scandinavian Journal of Economics

Vol 114(2): 323-333.

Sammendrag (engelsk)

Bivariate measures of health inequality are influenced by changes in two variables: health and a socioeconomic variable, such as income. For these measures, what is reported as an increase in health inequality might just as well be a reduction in income inequality. In particular, several papers have found that socioeconomic health inequalities in Nordic countries are no less than in other European countries. The correct interpretation could just be that income inequality is no higher in Nordic countries than in the rest of Europe. The problem is especially profound when the causality is running from health to income.


Bivariate inequality measures; egalitarian countries; health inequality; income inequality; socioeconomic status


D31; I12

Prosjekt info:

Oppdragsgiver: Norges forskningsråd
Oppdragsgivers prosjektnr.:
Frisch prosjekt: 4101 - Økonomi og helse