This discussion paper led to a publication in 'Health Economics', 2015, 24(10), 1348-1367.
We apply the theory of inequality in opportunity to measure inequity in mortality. Our empirical work is based on a rich dataset for the Netherlands (1998-2007), linking information about mortality, health events and lifestyles. We show that distinguishing between different channels via which mortality is affected is necessary to test the sensitivity of the results with respect to different normative positions. Moreover, our model allows for a comparison of the inequity in simulated counterfactual situations, including an evaluation of policy measures. We explicitly make a distinction between inequity in mortality risks and inequity in mortalityoutcomes. The treatment of this difference - “luck”- has a crucial in‡uence on the results.