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Economic Inequality and Health: Looking Beyond Aggregate Indicators

By Petri Böckerman, Edvard Johansson, Satu Helakorpi and Antti Uutela


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.

Topics: I00 - General, I32 - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
Year: 2007
DOI identifier: 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2008.01144.x
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