Journal article

INCOME, RELATIVE INCOME, AND SELF-REPORTED HEALTH IN BRITAIN 1979-2000

Hugh Gravelle, Matt Sutton

HEALTH ECONOMICS | WILEY | Published : 2009

Abstract

We test the relative income hypothesis that an individual's health depends on the distribution of income in a reference group, as well as on the income of the individual. We use data on 231 208 individuals in Great Britain from 19 rounds of the General Household Survey between 1979 and 2000. Results are insensitive to the measure of self-assessed health used but the sign and significance of the effect of relative income depend on the reference group (national or regional) and the measure of relative income (Gini coefficient, absolute or proportional difference from the reference group mean, Yitzhaki absolute and proportional relative deprivation and affluence). Only one model (relative depri..

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Grants

Funding Acknowledgements

Funding from the Department of Health to NPCRDC and from the Chief Scientist Office to HERU is acknowledged. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the funders. Helpful comments and suggestions were made by two referees, and Ken Judge and John Wildman, and by participants in the Glasgow July 2004 meeting of the Health Economists' Study Group and the York Seminars in Health Econometrics.