Thompson Rivers University

Does increased income inequality affect health status of people?

November 25, 2015

Dr. Latif, Associate Professor of Economics at Thompson Rivers University, used longitudinal data from the Canadian National Population Survey (1994–2006), to examine the impact of income inequality on current health outcomes. His statistical result suggests that once unobserved individual specific heterogeneity is controlled for, income inequality as measured by Gini Coefficient has no significant impact on current health status. This result holds true for contemporaneous income inequality as well as for lagged income ine
qualities. He then conducts a robustness check usign various other measures of income inequality and the results are mixed. Some measures (Decile Ratio (90P/10P) andCoefficient of Variation) have no impacts on current health status. But contemporaneous income inequality (measured by Log Mean Deviation and Theil Index) have significant negative effects on current health. All of the models suggest that absolute income has a significant positive effect on health status. His research entitled: “Income Inequality and Health: Panel Data Evidence from Canada” was published in The BE Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.


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