04
Nov
2019
Research Seminar Series (RSS)
Contingent Inequalities – An Exploration of Health Inequalities in the U.S. and Canada
with Michael Wolfson (University of Ottawa)
Maison des Sciences Humaines
11, Porte des Sciences
L-4366 Esch-sur-Alzette/Belval
Conference Room, 1st floor
11:00 am
12:30 pm
For inquiries:
seminars@liser.lu

Joint seminar LISER - University of Luxembourg

There has been considerable debate in the social epidemiology literature as to whether there is an empirical association between income inequality and population health.  An intriguing observation is that at the metropolitan level, there is a strong correlation of a measure of income inequality and working age mortality in the US, but none at all in Canada, hence a “contingent correlation”. We assess alternative theories that could account for this observed contingent correlation by constructing a novel abstract agent-based model (ABM), and exploring possible explanations including the effects of neighbourhood income segregation and the extent of parent-child transmission of social (dis)advantage. The THIM (Theoretical Health Inequality Model) ABM incorporates plausible empirically-based but stylized relationships among health status, education, income, mortality rates and neighbourhood sorting / segregation. As an indication of the sufficiency of its theory, THIM reproduces the observed contingent correlation, but perhaps surprisingly, the analysis suggests that higher neighbourhood income segregation alone is insufficient to generate the observed patterns. Other factors like parent-child transmission of social (dis)advantage and the structures of urban government appear more important.

Light lunch provided for registered participants; please register by October 30, 11:00 a.m. (registration link below seminar title)

Supported by the National Research Fund (FNR/RESCOM/18/12979972)

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