Do income effects mask social and behavioural factors when looking at universal health care provision?

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

June 1, 2008


Objectives: To investigate whether permanent and transitory income effects mask the impact of unobservable factors on the uptake of health check-ups in Britain.
Methods: We used a secondary data representative of the British population, the British Household Panel Survey. Outcome variables included uptake of dental health check-ups, eyesight tests, blood pressure checks, cholesterol tests, mammograms and cervical smear tests. Transitory income was measured as monthly household income and permanent income as average income over 13 years. Estimation method applied dynamic random effect probit model.
Results: Results showed the absence of permanent and transitory effects on the uptake of eyesight tests, cholesterol tests, mammograms and cervical smear tests. Permanent income was associated with dental check-ups and transitory income with uptake of blood pressure tests.
Conclusions: The presence of income effects on the uptake of blood pressure checks may be due to factors associated with income, such as stress or lifestyles, rather than income per se. A permanent income effect on dental health care in Britain, which is not free of charge, could indicate the possibility of economic constraints to service uptake, but it does not guarantee that income is the only factor that matters as there may important cultural and behavioural barriers.
Keywords: Health check-ups - Income - Britain

Published in

International Journal of Public Health


Volume: 53 (1):23-30




Web of Knowledge alert

not held in Res Lib - bibliographic reference only



Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest