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31.07.2018 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 8/2018

The European Journal of Health Economics 8/2018

Health polarization and inequalities across Europe: an empirical approach

The European Journal of Health Economics > Ausgabe 8/2018
Marta Pascual, David Cantarero, Paloma Lanza


This paper examines inequality and polarization in self-assessed health, contributing towards the limited research existing on health economics. We use data from the European Health Interview Survey (EHIS) to investigate the relationship between health inequality and polarization across 27 European countries in two periods: 2006–2009 and 2013–2015. As our key variable is of an ordinal nature, we employ median based measures. Our empirical results suggest that Greece is the country with the highest level of health polarization in both periods, whereas Ireland has the lowest one when we consider countries where the median category is “very good”, coinciding with the findings obtained in the inequality index. Estonia, Hungary and Lithuania have the highest degree of health polarization in both periods while Malta, The Netherlands and Spain are the countries with the lowest when we focus on those countries whose median category is “good” health.

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