Health, income and relative deprivation: evidence from the BHPS

J Health Econ. 2008 Mar;27(2):308-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2007.05.007. Epub 2007 Dec 4.

Abstract

It is believed that income affects health directly but it is argued that indirect income effects due to relative deprivation may be equally important. This paper investigates these relationships using parametric and semiparametric panel data models which ameliorate problems of mis-specification and unobservable heterogeneity. By allowing for a flexible functional form of income we ensure that coefficients on relative deprivation variables are not an artefact of a highly non-linear relationship between health and income. The results provide strong evidence for the impact of income on self-reported measures of health for men and women. These results are robust across a range of techniques and are resilient to the inclusion of measures of relative deprivation. The parametric results for relative deprivation largely reject its influence on health, although there is some evidence of an effect in the semiparametric models.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Econometric
  • Social Class*
  • United Kingdom