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Health Inequalities: Association Between Socioeconomic Status and Perceived Health Status Among Russians

Student: Sofia Smirnova

Supervisor: Ekaterina Aleksandrova

Faculty: St.Petersburg School of Economics and Management

Educational Programme: Economics (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2021

Despite all the achievements in improving and protecting health, inequality remains a global problem that requires careful study and resolution. Differences in socio-economic status are considered as one of the main causes of health inequality, which may be determined by income, occupation, or education. This paper provides quantitative assessment of inequality among the Russian population and identifies the main factors that determine inequality in health. The study used data from the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS HSE) for the period from 2000 to 2019 to assess inequality, which provides information on the socio-economic status (SES), quality of life and General health of the population of the Russian Federation required for the study. Self-assessed health (SAH) was selected as a health variable, income was used as a proxy variable of SES. To assess the inequality in the study we constructed concentration curves and calculated concentration indices. As a result, the concentration curves strongly deviated from the equality curve (Lorenz curve), and the concentration indices were significantly different from zero, which indicates the presence of inequality and its concentration among poor people. To identify the factors that make the greatest contribution to inequality, we applied the method of decomposition of the concentration index into separate components. The obtained results determined employment, age and income as the factors of greatest influence. Today, this study is the most relevant, since the analyzed period includes data from the 28th wave of the RLMS HSE (2019). The assessment of the concentration index by year allowed us to assess the degree of inequality over time and correlate these results with events in the social and economic spheres, and using decomposition it became possible to track the dynamics of changes in the each factor contribution to inequality and analyzed the significance of their impact in different time periods.

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