About Decomposing socioeconomic Inequality of Health

The main purpose of this paper is to compare the decomposition properties of rank-dependent and level-dependent indicators of socioeconomic inequality of health. We do so by focusing on three forms of inequality decomposition:
- decomposition by health components;
- decomposition by population groups; and
- regression-based decomposition.
The first form of decomposition can be handled just as well by rank-dependent indices as by level-dependent indices. With respect to the decomposition by population subgroups, however, level-dependent indices have much nicer properties than rank-dependent indices. This may prove to be an important argument in favour of the use of level-dependent indices. With regard to regression-based decomposition, the paper suggests a new approach which aims to explain the correlation between socioeconomic conditions and health outcomes more directly than has been done so far.


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