Accounting for trends in health poverty: a decomposition analysis for Britain, 1991-2008

Publication type

Research Paper

Series Number



University of Warsaw Faculty of Economic Sciences Working Papers


Publication date

June 1, 2013


We use data from the British Household Panel Survey to analyse changes
in poverty of self-reported health from 1991 to 2008. Recently
introduced ordinal counterparts of the classical Foster, Greer,
Thorbecke (1984) (FGT) poverty measures are used to decompose changes in
self-reported health poverty over time into within-group health poverty
changes and population shifts between groups. We also provide
statistical inference for these ordinal FGT indices. Results suggest
that the health poverty rate increased independently of health poverty
threshold chosen. In case of other ordinal FGT indices, which are
sensitive to depth and distribution of health poverty, results depend on
the health poverty threshold. The subgroup decompositions of changes in
total health poverty in Britain suggest that the most important
poverty-increasing factors include a rise of both health poverty and
population shares of persons cohabiting and couples with no children as
well as an increase of the population of retired persons.





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