On the measurement of inequalities in health

Adam Wagstaff*, Pierella Paci, Eddy van Doorslaer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1217 Citations (Scopus)


This paper offers a critical appraisal of the various methods employed to date to measure inequalities in health. It suggests that only two of these-the slope index of inequality and the concentration index-are likely to present an accurate picture of socioeconomic inequalities in health. The paper also presents several empirical examples to illustrate of the dangers of using other measures such as the range, the Lorenz curve and the index of dissimilarity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-557
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1991

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgemenrs-We areg ratefult o the EC for financial support and to Frans Rutten--the project leader-for encouragemenatn d advice. We are also grateful to the Centro Europa Ricerche (CER) in Rome and in particulart o Stefania Gabriele for providing data from CER’s Health Care ConsumDrion Survey, and to Jan van Emmerickfo r help in analising data f&m the Dutch Health Interview Suruev. We are also grateful to Julian Le Grand and Rich&d Wilkinson fo; helpful commentso n an earlier versiono f this paper.


Dive into the research topics of 'On the measurement of inequalities in health'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this