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Health and socio-economic inequality among older adults in Mexico

Rebeca Wong, University of Maryland

In virtually all developed countries, the relationship between socioeconomic level and health is positive. This paper describes the relations between health status and socioeconomic inequalities among older adults in Mexico, and explores the extent of the association between the two factors, using a variety of indicators for health and for socioeconomic status. We use data from the new Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS) 2001, a representative sample of individuals aged 50 or older in Mexico, and the 2003 follow-up. We find that the relationship is positive overall, but that it varies widely within subgroups of the population (sex, education, urban/rural residence, and other attributes). These results provide clues to identify the mechanisms through which the relationship may be operating in a developing economy. The paper also draws conclusions regarding health and economic inequality.

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Presented in Session 119: Aging in the developing world