Inequality and bi-polarization in socioeconomic status and health: Ordinal approaches

Bénédicte Apouey, Jacques Silber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Traditional indices of bi-dimensional inequality and polarization were developed for cardinal variables and cannot be used to quantify dispersion in ordinal measures of socioeconomic status and health. This chapter develops two approaches to the measurement of inequality and bi-polarization using only ordinal information. An empirical illustration is given for 24 European Union countries in 2004-2006 and 2011. Results suggest that inequalities and bi-polarization in income and health are especially large in Estonia and Portugal, and that inequalities have significantly increased in recent years in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, and the Netherlands, whereas bi-polarization significantly decreased in France, Portugal, and the United Kingdom.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHealth and Inequality
PublisherJAI Press
Number of pages33
ISBN (Print)9781781905531
StatePublished - 2013

Publication series

NameResearch on Economic Inequality
ISSN (Print)1049-2585


  • Bi-polarization
  • Inequality
  • Ordinal variables
  • Self-assessed health


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