Chapter 4 lecture

Chapter 4 lecture - Health and Inequality Principles and...

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Health and Inequality: Principles and Examples Chapter 4
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Problematic: Is a less equal distribution of income good or bad for a country's development? There are different opinions about the best patterns of distribution- about whether, for example, the Gini index should be closer to 25 percent (as in Sweden) or to 40 percent (as in the United States). Consider the following arguments. An excessively equal income distribution can be bad for economic efficiency. E.g., In socialist countries, deliberately low inequality (with no private profits and minimal differences in wages and salaries) deprive people of the incentives needed for their active participation in economic activities for diligent work and vigorous entrepreneurship. Among the consequences of socialist equalization of incomes were poor discipline and low initiative among workers, poor quality and limited selection of goods and services, slow technical progress, and eventually, slower economic growth leading to more poverty. On the other hand,,,,, Excessive inequality adversely affects people's quality of life, leading to a higher incidence of poverty and so impeding progress in health and education and contributing to crime. High inequality threatens a country's political stability because more people are dissatisfied with their economic status, which makes it harder to reach political consensus among population groups with higher and lower incomes. Political instability increases the risks of investing in a country and so significantly undermines its development potential.
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Principle 1 Globally, the major factor determining whether individuals will live longer lives and experience less life- threatening illness is the availability of living conditions that meet basic human needs Source: World Bank Group, 2001; http://www.worldbank.org/depweb/english/modules/environm/water/chart1.html Gloal Access to Safe Water: 1990-96
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Lowest Infant Mortality Rates Infant mortality is a good indicator of a country’s care of basic human needs The United States does not make the list of lowest infant mortality despite a high standard of living and the highest per capita health expenditures of any country in the world
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Highest Infant Mortality Rates All countries with highest infant mortality rates are located in Africa Warfare and social disintegration in Sierra Leone and Rwanda Several countries are deeply affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic Source: World Bank, 2000/01
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Principle 2 Overall, people in affluent countries have greater life expectancy than those in poor countries World Bank 2001
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Source: Wilkinson, R. G. BMJ 1997;314:591
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This note was uploaded on 03/20/2008 for the course SOC 308 taught by Professor Kurtz during the Fall '07 term at University of Texas.

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Chapter 4 lecture - Health and Inequality Principles and...

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