On correcting the concentration index for binary variables

J Health Econ. 2013 May;32(3):659-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2012.10.012. Epub 2012 Nov 8.


This article discusses measurement of socioeconomic inequalities in the prevalence of a health condition, in response to the recent exchange between Guido Erreygers and Adam Wagstaff, in which they discuss the merits of their own corrections to the frequently used concentration index. We first reconcile their debate and discuss the value judgments implicit in their indices. Next, we provide a formal definition of the previously undefined value judgment in Wagstaff's correction. Finally, we show empirically that the choice of index matters, as illustrated by comparisons between countries using data from the European Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement.

MeSH terms

  • Empirical Research
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Research Design*
  • Socioeconomic Factors