# 11-155/3 (2011-11-04)

Ellen van de Poel, Health Policy & Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam; Eddy van Doorslaer, Erasmus University Rotterdam; Owen O'Donnell, Erasmus University Rotterdam
health care, equity, decomposition
JEL codes:
D63, I14

This discussion paper resulted in an article in the Journal of Health Economics. Volume 31, issue 4, pages 676-689.

We propose a method of measuring and decomposing inequity in health care utilisation that allows for heterogeneity in the use-need relationship. This makes explicit inequity that derives from unequal treatment response to variation in need, as well as that due to differential effects of non-need determinants. Under plausible conditions concerning heterogeneity in the use-need relationship and the distribution of need, existing methods that impose homogeneity will underestimate pro-rich inequity. This prediction is confirmed for four low-middle income Asian countries.