Explaining Cross-National Differences in Inequality of Mortality

Christiaan Monden, Tilburg University
Jeroen Smits, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen

In this paper, we study country differences in relative mortality inequality. Why is the total number of available life years in some countries distributed more equally among the population than in other countries? To what extent is mortality inequality related to national expenditures on health, the government’s share in health expenditures, educational level of the population, economic wealth and other forms of inequality? We construct a measure of relative mortality inequality in adult populations (aged 15+) for almost 200 countries in the year 2000. By standardizing by level of life expectancy, we are able to compare developed and developing countries. In multivariate regression analyses, we examine the association of relative mortality inequality with country characteristics on health expenditures, economic indicators and inequality indicators.

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Presented in Session 31: Understanding Variation in Health and Survival