This study explores global inequality in health status and decomposes it into within- and between-country inequality. We rely on standardized height as our health indicator since it avoids the measurement pitfalls of more traditional measures of health such as morbidity, mortality, and life expectancy. It also avoids measurement problems associated with using monetary variables such as income or expenditure across time or place to compare welfare. Our calculation of world height inequality indicates that, in contrast with similar research on income inequality, within-country variation is the source of most inequality, rather than the differences between countries.
Copyright 2003 Elsevier Science B.V.