The distribution of health and income: a theoretical framework

P Contoyannis, M Forster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A general framework is developed to analyse variations in the distribution of population health, where individual health is modelled as a function of income, conditional upon the level of another factor such as health-related behaviour. Results are derived for the response of the level of average health in a population and the degree of health inequality to alternative health promotion policies and equiproportionate income growth. Qualitative results are shown to depend on characteristics of the individual health production functions and the frequency distribution of the other factor at each income level. These results are independent of the distribution of income. The discussion focuses on the implications of these results for contemporary research into inequalities in health and income. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-622
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of health economics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1999


  • health inequalities
  • population health
  • health promotion
  • economic growth

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