By using representative data from the German Socioeconomic Panel, the researchers apply Fields’ regression based decomposition techniques to decompose variations in health into its sources. Controlling for income, education, occupation, and wealth, they assess the relative importance of the explanatory factors over and above their effect on the variation in health channelled through the commonly applied measures of socioeconomic status.
The analysis suggests that three main factors persistently contribute to variance in health: the capability score, cultural-behavioural variables and to a lower extent, the materialist approach. Of the three, the capability score illustrates the explanatory power of interaction and compound effects as it captures the individual’s socioeconomic, social, and psychological resources in relation to his/her exposure to life challenges.
Authors: Leonie Sundmacher, David Scheller-Kreinsen and Reinhard Busse
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