Material Deprivation, Health and Well-Being in Older Age: A Comparative Analysis of 14 European Countries

  • Marco Terraneo
Part of the Global Perspectives on Wealth and Distribution book series (GPWD)


A large number of studies have documented an influence on health of traditional social stratification variables such as income, educational level, and social class. In this perspective, a key dimension is economic resources that we know to be an excellent predictor of health conditions. Unfortunately, despite remarkable economic progress in the twentieth century, European countries still find parts of the population falling behind considerably in quality of life. To complicate matters further, the worst financial crisis since the end of Second World War began in 2008. Crises can have serious social impact, in particular on the most vulnerable individuals of the society (the elderly, young, women), who have less resources to cope with the consequences of rising of prices, eroding savings and asset values, loss of jobs and reduction in core public services such as social welfare, health care and education. In this framework, the aim of this study is to describe the relationship between economic resources, approximate by material deprivation measure, and health and health inequalities among individuals aged 50 and over in 14 European countries, controlling for country-level heterogeneity. In particular, we are interested to analyze the association between households’ economic conditions and three health outcomes: a) poor health (based on self-assessment of health, SAH); b) symptoms of depression based on the EURO-D scale; and c) index for quality of life and well-being, based on CASP-12 measure. We confirm that material deprivation plays a key role in determining the health and well-being conditions of Europe’s elderly population.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco Terraneo
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Milano-BicoccaMilanItaly

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