Journal of Public Health

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 305–311 | Cite as

Changes in socioeconomic determinants of health: comparing the effect of social and economic indicators through European welfare state regimes

  • Javier Alvarez-GalvezEmail author
  • Maria Luisa Rodero-Cosano
  • Carlos García-Alonso
  • Luis Salvador-Carulla
Original Article



This study is aimed at comparing the effect of different measures of socioeconomic status on self-rated health throughout European welfare state regimes during the period 2002–2008, in order to study how diverse socioeconomic inequalities can vary our health over time.

Subjects and methods

This study uses the European Social Survey to compare the impact of three specific socioeconomic measures (income, education and occupational status) on self-rated health.


The main finding to be highlighted is that the importance of education-related inequalities surpasses differences in income and occupational status, especially in southern and eastern countries. The relationship between income and self-rated health is stronger in liberal and social-democratic regimes, where labour market regulation is characterized by its flexibility and high liberalization. The impact of occupational status is moderate among liberal, social-democratic and conservative regimes, but lower in southern and eastern ones.


These findings support the existence of a contextual effect among welfare states that varies the impact of social and economic indicators in self-rated health over time.


Self-rated health Socioeconomic status Welfare state regimes 



The authors acknowledge the research group on health and social policy at Universidad Loyola Andalucía, and also the members of PSICOST association for their comments on earlier versions of this paper.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Javier Alvarez-Galvez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maria Luisa Rodero-Cosano
    • 2
  • Carlos García-Alonso
    • 2
  • Luis Salvador-Carulla
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Sociology and Social WorkUniversidad Loyola Andalucia; Campus Sevilla-Palmas AltasSevillaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics and EngineeringUniversidad Loyola Andalucia; Campus CórdobaCórdobaSpain
  3. 3.Centre for Disability Research and Policy, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of Sydney, Faculty of Health Sciences, T315a Cumberland CampusSydneyAustralia

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