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Comparing indices of relative deprivation using behavioural evidence

Comparing indices of relative deprivation using behavioural evidence
Comparing indices of relative deprivation using behavioural evidence
What measure of relative deprivation best predicts health? While numerous indices of relative deprivation exist, few studies have compared how well different measures account for empirical data. Hounkpatin et al. (2016) demonstrated that the relative ranked position of an individual i's income within a comparison group (their relative rank) was a better predictor of i's health than i's relative deprivation as assessed by the widely-used Yitzhaki index. In their commentary, Stark and Jakubek (2020) argue that both relative rank and relative deprivation may matter, and they develop a composite index. Here we identify some issues with their composite index, develop an alternative based on behavioural evidence, and test the various indices against data. Although almost all existing indices assume that the significance of an income yj to an individual with income y(yj > yi) will be some increasing function of the difference between yj  and yi , we find that the influence of j''s income on i's health is actually a reducing function of (yj > yi). This finding — that less significance is assigned to distant higher incomes than to near higher incomes — is consistent with the well-established idea that we compare ourselves primarily to similar others.
Income inequality, Income rank, Psychosocial pathway, Relative deprivation, Self-rated health, Yitzhaki index
0277-9536
Hounkpatin, Hilda
5612e5b4-6286-48c8-b81f-e96d1148681d
Wood, Alex M
93e38cbe-fa67-48bb-a74e-ee04f6ebab5b
Brown, Gordon DA
2284f86d-f933-4518-b89b-103c298b93bb
Hounkpatin, Hilda
5612e5b4-6286-48c8-b81f-e96d1148681d
Wood, Alex M
93e38cbe-fa67-48bb-a74e-ee04f6ebab5b
Brown, Gordon DA
2284f86d-f933-4518-b89b-103c298b93bb

Hounkpatin, Hilda, Wood, Alex M and Brown, Gordon DA (2020) Comparing indices of relative deprivation using behavioural evidence. Social Science & Medicine, 259, [112914]. (doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.112914).

Record type: Article

Abstract

What measure of relative deprivation best predicts health? While numerous indices of relative deprivation exist, few studies have compared how well different measures account for empirical data. Hounkpatin et al. (2016) demonstrated that the relative ranked position of an individual i's income within a comparison group (their relative rank) was a better predictor of i's health than i's relative deprivation as assessed by the widely-used Yitzhaki index. In their commentary, Stark and Jakubek (2020) argue that both relative rank and relative deprivation may matter, and they develop a composite index. Here we identify some issues with their composite index, develop an alternative based on behavioural evidence, and test the various indices against data. Although almost all existing indices assume that the significance of an income yj to an individual with income y(yj > yi) will be some increasing function of the difference between yj  and yi , we find that the influence of j''s income on i's health is actually a reducing function of (yj > yi). This finding — that less significance is assigned to distant higher incomes than to near higher incomes — is consistent with the well-established idea that we compare ourselves primarily to similar others.

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Accepted/In Press date: 8 March 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 12 March 2020
Keywords: Income inequality, Income rank, Psychosocial pathway, Relative deprivation, Self-rated health, Yitzhaki index

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 440899
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/440899
ISSN: 0277-9536
PURE UUID: 50578380-6e4a-4d8e-b3ce-e08bccbfc721

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Date deposited: 22 May 2020 16:30
Last modified: 09 Jan 2022 10:18

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Author: Alex M Wood
Author: Gordon DA Brown

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