Millions of workers disappeared from the workforce and have yet to return. This has magnified the gap between households at one end of the income spectrum and the other.
Advanced Search Abstract Two of the most prominent phenomena in the study of social determinants of health, the socio-economic gradient in health and the income inequality—health association, have both been suggested to be explainable by the mechanism of status comparisons.
This, however, has rarely ever been tested in a direct fashion. In this article, we explicate and test this mechanism by assessing the role of social comparison orientation. Research has shown that individuals vary in their propensity to engage in social comparisons, and those with a higher propensity are also more likely to be affected by the outcomes of such comparisons.
Our findings cast doubt on the crucial role that researchers such as Wilkinson and Pickett have attributed to the mechanism of status differentiation as the link between social stratification and health outcomes. The effects of social conditions on individual health have long been Determinants of income distribution inequality in.
Earlier research has conclusively shown how both social relationships and socio-economic status SES have positive effects on a large variety of health outcomes.
Individuals who are better socially integrated benefit from better health than those who are less socially integrated Holt-Lunstad, Smith and Layton,and individuals with a higher SES exhibit better health than their low-SES counterparts Elo, Research has further established that not only factors at the individual level affect health, but also contextual-level conditions can do so.
The recent debate as to how greater income inequality in a society can diminish the health of individuals in it is an example for such contextual influences on health. How such social antecedents operate to affect health and disease, however, is still not fully understood Elo, ; Thoits, Prominent explanatory approaches for these relationships have focused on the material living conditions of individuals and societies on the one hand and psychosocial mechanisms on the other.
Material living conditions such as strenuous physical labour or less health care access have long been proposed as reasons for the poorer health of the lower social strata. Societies with greater income inequality have fewer collective resources to invest in the educational, medical, and cultural infrastructure, which in turn hurts health and stretches the social fabric.
Recently, researchers have turned to psychosocial factors to explain links between SES and health Schnittker and McLeod, One of those factors, social comparisons, is assumed to be a key mechanism linking social conditions and health. Comparing with others can aid in the interpretation of physical symptoms, help adapting to health threats, and provide social validation for personal health behaviours Suls, Conversely, a type of social comparison process that has been suggested to lead to negative health effects is the comparison of social status.
Social status comparisons are assumed to underlie two of the most prominent phenomena in research on societal determinants of health, the socio-economic gradient in health Marmot,and the negative inequality—health correlation Wilkinson and Pickett, The socio-economic gradient in health refers to the oft-replicated finding that in developed countries health disparities arise between the different socio-economic strata, with those better off economically exhibiting better health than their counterparts from lower socio-economic strata.
The negative income inequality—health correlation refers to the finding that population health in those developed societies is worse where income inequality is higher. Some researchers have attributed these phenomena to a common core, namely the existence of status hierarchies in societies and the status competition that takes place in these hierarchies Marmot, ; Wilkinson and Pickett, According to this explanation, individuals are assumed to compete for status and prestige in social hierarchies, and being unsuccessful in this status competition, i.
Chronic stress, in turn, is related to all sorts of negative health outcomes Sapolsky, This could either affect all members of a society to the same extent as suggested by Wilkinson and Pickett, or predominately those at the bottom of the income distribution Lancee and Van de Werfhorst, If these presumed causal chains were true, individuals who would be more sensitive to status competition should exhibit greater health effects.
Social psychological research has shown that individuals vary in their propensity to engage in social comparisons Buunk and Gibbons, Furthermore, it has been shown that those who are more prone towards comparisons are also more likely to be affected by the results of such comparisons Buunk and Gibbons, In our study, we will focus on one form of status comparisons, namely income comparisons.
We will proceed from the assumptions that income is an important status marker in contemporary societies Marmot, and that the importance individuals attribute to income comparisons reflect their social comparison orientation and their sensitivity to status competition.
We will use this income comparison orientation to test its moderating effect on the relationships between relative income, income inequality, and health. Our study will extend existing research in three distinct ways.
According to our knowledge, this has never been tested before. We draw on social-psychological findings about differences in the propensity to engage in and the sensitivity towards social comparisons and this allows overcoming the practical problems associated with reliably and validly measuring social comparisons.
Earlier research on status comparisons as a linking mechanism has relied on imposing the assumption that individuals compare their incomes to demographically similar groups. Secondly, by focusing on a potential common cause we contribute to linking the up to now largely separate debates on health effects of income inequality and health inequalities Beckfield, Olafsdottir and Bakhtiari, ; Wilkinson and Pickett, Thirdly, we aim at giving a comprehensive view of health as a psychophysical entity by drawing on two distinct indicators of health, namely general health and psychological well-being, both measured via self-reports.
By using these two indicators as our outcome variables, we are able to distinguish between general and mental health effects of income and income inequality.
Background and Hypotheses The Socio-Economic Gradient in Health The finding of an SES gradient in health in the sense that those of higher SES enjoy better health than those in lower positions of the social ladder is a nearly universal one: Comparative sources reveal that a socio-economic gradient in health can nowadays be found in all countries Elo, ; Beckfield, Olafsdottir and Bakhtiari,irrespective of public health care provision and welfare regimes.
Furthermore, the gradient has been documented not only for self-rated health and life expectancy, but also for a wide range of health outcomes. Status differences are one of the many explanatory factors proposed and have received a substantial amount of attention in the debate.Income inequality and determinants of health in the US Posted April 19, by Atif Kukaswadia, PhD in Uncategorized A series published in The Lancet recently investigated the effect of income inequality on the health of Americans.
Dispersion in years of schooling, number of earners, and number of children affect income inequality in Thailand. • The relative importance of these three determinants of inequality varies by household structure and demographic factors. Without knowing the determinants of income inequality, it is hard to know how the government should do to cope with inequality.
So, analyzing these determinants and effectiveness of government spending could be the guide to understand and to be able to tackle perplexing problem as income inequality. Determinants of income distribution inequality in Vietnam Essay Sample. Usually, during the long way to become developed countries, developing and emerging nations have been trading off many things, industry expansion versus environment purity, international integration versus cultural maintenance and improvement, etc.
For at least the past two decades, income inequality within rich countries or, more precisely, among OECD countries has increased; while income inequality between countries based on per capita income has likely decreased recently, income inequality within countries has risen in most OECD and several developing countries over the past two to three decades (Allison et al., ).
This paper studies determinants of income inequality using a newly assembled panel of 16 countries over the entire twentieth century. We focus on three groups of income earners: the rich (P99–), the upper middle class (P90–99), and the rest of the population (P0–90).