Accounting for the dead in the longitudinal analysis of income-related health inequalities

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Abstract

This paper develops an accounting framework to consider the effect of deaths on the longitudinal analysis of income-related health inequalities. Ignoring deaths or using Inverse Probability Weights (IPWs) to re-weight the sample for mortality-related attrition can produce misleading results. Incorporating deaths into the longitudinal analysis of income-related health inequalities provides a more complete picture in terms of the evaluation of health changes in respect to socioeconomic status. We illustrate our work by investigating health mobility from 1999 till 2004 using the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS). We show that for Scottish males explicitly accounting for the dead rather than using IPWs to account for mortality-related attrition changes the direction of the relationship between relative health changes and initial income position, from negative to positive, while for other groups it significantly increases the strength of the positive relationship. Incorporating the dead may be vital in the longitudinal analysis of health inequalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1113-1123
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Health Economics
Volume30
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Income-related health inequality
  • Inverse probability weights (IPWs)
  • Longitudinal data
  • Mobility analysis
  • Mortality

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