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Longitudinal analysis of income-related health inequalities: methods, challenges and applications
|Journal||Expert Review of
Pharmacoeconomics & Outcomes Research
Socioeconomic inequalities in health are an important research area in health economics and public health. The concentration index has become a well-established measure of income-related health inequalities, and a number of approaches to identify potential causes of health inequalities exist. With the increasing availability of suitable longitudinal data, more sophisticated approaches to monitor inequalities and to identify potential causal relationships between socioeconomic status and health evolved. We first review the concentration index and some more basic approaches to explain health inequalities. We then discuss advantages and potential shortcomings of “static” and “dynamic” health inequality measures. We review different concepts of health and socioeconomic mobility, as well as recent studies on the life course perspective and economic changes. Our aim is to provide an overview of the concepts and empirical methodologies in the current literature, and to guide interested researchers in their choice of an appropriate inequality measure.