The Journal of Economic Inequality

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 465–477 | Cite as

On a new class of measures for health inequality based on ordinal data

  • Guangming Lv
  • Yang Wang
  • Yongsheng Xu


In many instances, individual health statuses are self-reported on several ordinal scales. The ordinal nature of the data creates some challenging problems in the measurement of inequalities of various distributions of health statuses in a population. In this paper, we propose and discuss a class of measures of inequalities of heath status distributions based on such ordinal data. Our measures are easy to compute and have some desirable properties often required for a reasonable measure for health inequality.


Health inequality Self-reported health status Additivity Invariance of parallel shifts Normalization Simple aversion to median-preserving spreads 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of National Accounts, Beijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsTulane UniversityNew OrleansUSA
  3. 3.Department of Economics, Andrew Young School of Policy StudiesGeorgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA

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