Effects of Income Inequality on Population Health and Social Outcomes at the Regional Level in the EU


Sebastian Leitner

wiiw Working Paper No. 113, May 2015
35 pages including 24 Tables and 7 Figures

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This paper analyses the relationships between various measures of income inequality and variables describing population health and social outcomes at the regional level in the EU. Differences between the Central and East European new EU Member States (NMS) and non-NMS EU countries are highlighted. By applying fixed and random effects and cross-region regressions, we found negative relationships between income inequality and life expectancy, infant mortality, standardised death rates on various causes, rates of violent and property crime, rates of non-activity and early leave from education of young persons. The results indicate that redistributive policies might be an effective measure to reduce social harm and improve population health.


Keywords: income inequality, population health, social phenomena, distribution, European Union, Central and Eastern Europe, regional analysis

JEL classification: D31, I30

Countries covered: Asia, CEE, CIS, East Asia, European Union, New EU Member States, OECD, SEE, Wider Europe

Research Areas: Labour, Migration and Income Distribution, Regional Development