Income, education, and class gradients in health in global perspective

Babones, Salvatore
April 2010
Health Sociology Review;Apr2010, Vol. 19 Issue 1, p130
Academic Journal
It is well known that socioeconomic status (SES) is highly correlated with health. An important question is whether SES is, in this regard, a single, unified concept or a collection of related but distinct statuses. This study disaggregates SES into constituent components of income, education, and occupational class to investigate whether or not these correlate with health independently of each other. A series of multilevel regression models are estimated to predict self-rated health (SRH) as reported by 15,022 individuals in 44 countries participating in the World Values Survey. It turns out that it is possible to distinguish independent income, education, and class gradients in SRH. Two interpretations of this result are possible: each component of SES may affect health independently of the others, or each may simply capture additional information about SES that is not captured by the others. Either way, all three components of SES are clearly closely connected with SRH.


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