Health and Income Equity
F. Criticisms of the income inequality / health relationship

It would be very rare that such an important finding was not criticized by some. Papers here reflect the opinions of some who feel that health has not been adequately related to relative deprivation, or income inequality. Essentially all of the published studies are presented here. Responses to these publications from the principle investigators have been provided as well. While none of the investigators deny the possibility of a strong income inequality health relationship, they question the validity of the current research, that is they question the process of arriving at the conclusion, rather than the conclusion itself. For such a major finding, it is remarkable that there are so few criticisms and these do not cast major doubt on the results. 

1. Judge K, Mulligan J-A, Benzeval M. Income inequality and population health. Soc Sci Med 1998 46:567-79.

2. Wilkinson, R.G. Letter to the Editor. Soc Sci Med 1998;47(3):411-12.

3. Judge K, Mulligan JA, Benzeval M. Reply to Richard Wilkinson. Soc Sci Med 1998;46(7):983-85.

4. Gravelle H. How much of the relation between population mortality and unequal distribution of income is a statistical artefact? BMJ 1998;316(31 January 1998):382-5

5. Wilkinson RG. Mortality and distribution of income. Low relative income affects mortality [letter; comment]. BMJ 1998;316(7144):1611-2

6. Sutton GC. Mortality and distribution of income. Widening income inequalities cause poorer health [letter; comment]. BMJ 1998;316(7144):1612

7. Gravelle H. Mortality and distribution of income: Widening income inequalities cause poorer health: Author's reply. BMJ 1998;316(23, May 1998):1612.

8.  Wolfson M, Kaplan G, Lynch J, Ross N, Backlund E. Relation between income inequality and mortality: empirical demonstration. BMJ 1999;319(7215):953-7.

9.  Gravelle H. Diminishing returns to aggregate level studies. BMJ1999;319(7215):955-6

10.  Wilkinson RG. Two pathways, but how much do they diverge? . BMJ 1999;319(7215):956-7. 

11. Fiscella K, Franks P. Poverty or income inequality as predictors of mortality: longitudinal cohort study. British Medical Journal 1997; 314: 1724-8

12. Wilkinson RG. Commentary: income inequality summarises the health burden of individual relative deprivation. British Medical Journal 1997; 314: 1727-8

13.  Muntaner C, Lynch J. Income inequality, social cohesion, and class relations: a critique of Wilkinson's neo-Durkheimian research program. International Journal of Health Services 1999: 29(1):59-81.

14.  Wilkinson RG. Income inequality, social cohesion, and health: clarifying the theory-- a reply to Muntaner and Lynch. International Journal of Health Services 1999:  29(3):525-43.

15. Judge K. Income distribution and life expectancy: a critical appraisal. British Medical Journal, 1995;311: 1282-5.

16. Wilkinson RG. A reply to Ken Judge: mistaken criticisms ignore overwhelming evidence. British Medical Journal 1995; 311: 1285-7

17.  Saunders P. Poverty, Income Distribution and Health:  An Australian Study.  Social Policy Research Centre  Reports and Proceedings No. 128: University of New South Wales, 1996

18. Judge K. Income and mortality in the United States. Incomes should have been adjusted in the two studies. British Medical Journal 1996;313: 1206-7.

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