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Home | Events Archive | Economics of Health Inequality
Summer School

Economics of Health Inequality


  • Location
    Erasmus University Rotterdam
    Rotterdam
  • Date

    July 04, 2016 until July 08, 2016

Overview: Health differs markedly by education, race, occupation and income. In high-income countries, a 30 year old man with only compulsory education can expect to live almost eight years less than a college graduate. The striking magnitude and the persistence of socioeconomic disparities in health is a major public health issue. In the context of population ageing and rising medical expenditures, it is also attracting attention in economics. This course arms students with tools to measure health inequality. It makes them familiar with models developed to explain socioeconomic disparities in health and competent in empirical methods used to estimate socioeconomic determinants of health. The course is targeted at economists embarking on research on population health, as well as at researchers from the field of public health wishing to become competent in techniques employed by economists to analyse health inequality.

Objectives: To attain competence in:
normative evaluation of health inequality;
measurement of health inequality;
computation of health inequality indices;
decomposition of health inequality;
economic models of health behaviour;
empirical identification of socioeconomic determinants of health;
health determination of socioeconomic outcomes.

All instructors belong to the Health Economics section in the Erasmus School of Economics. Led by Eddy van Doorslaer, this group has a strong record of research into the measurement and explanation of health inequality. It has developed indices of health inequality, extended the canonical economic model of health to explain socioeconomic disparities, written a popular manual of health equity analysis and authored two Elsevier Handbook of Economics chapters on the topic.

Prerequisites: This course is open to research master students, PhD students, Postdocs and researchers with an interest in a quantitative approach to health inequality. Students should have done an intermediate course in statistics, be familiar with regression analysis and preferably have completed an intermediate course in microeconomics. Those with a public health background who have not previously followed a course in economics should be comfortable with quantitative analysis and be competent in basic calculus. Familiarity with the statistical package STATA is an advantage.

Format: The course consists of:
Lectures
Practical computing sessions
Exercises reviewed in class
Student presentation of empirical assignment

Lectures introduce concepts, explain measures and models, and review evidence. Computing sessions, using STATA, provide hands-on experience with the computation of measures, application of decomposition techniques and estimation of explanatory models. Example STATA do files are provided. Exercises are completed during study time and reviewed in class. Students complete an empirical assignment during the week and present results on the final afternoon.