Analyzing Health Equity Using Household Survey Data

No Thumbnail Available





O’Donnell, Owen and van Doorslaer, Eddy and Wagstaff, Wagstaff and Lindelow, Magnus (2008) Analyzing Health Equity Using Household Survey Data. The World Bank, Washington, DC.


Health outcomes are invariably worse among the poor—often markedly so. The chance of a newborn baby in Bolivia dying before his or her fifth birthday is more than three times higher if the parents are in the poorest fifth of the population than if they are in the richest fifth (120‰ compared with 37‰). Reducing inequalities such as these is widely perceived as intrinsically important as a development goal. But as the World Bank’s 2006 World Development Report, Equity and Development, argued, inequalities in health reflect and reinforce inequalities in other domains, and these inequalities together act as a brake on economic growth and development. One challenge is to move from general statements such as that above to monitoring progress over time and evaluating development programs with regard to their effects on specifi c inequalities. Another is to identify countries or provinces in countries in which these inequalities are relatively small and discover the secrets of their success in relation to the policies and institutions that make for small inequalities. This book sets out to help analysts in these tasks. It shows how to implement a variety of analytic tools that allow health equity—along different dimensions and in different spheres—to be quantifi ed.