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International variation in the socioeconomic health gradient : do the institutional arrangements matter?

Hale koc

Nationality Turkish

Year of selection 2011

Institution Erasmus University Rotterdam

Country Netherlands

Risk Socio-Economics


3 years

120000 €

Be Wealthy, Be Healthy

My research focuses on understanding the observed disparities in health by socioeconomic status, over the life cycle. Although a strong relationship between health and socioeconomic status has been firmly established by research in several fields, there is still ongoing research to discover underlying causal mechanisms. More specifically is health strongly driven by socioeconomic characteristics (such as income, occupation, education), and/or is health itself an important determinant of socioeconomic status? And do the underlying mechanisms connecting socioeconomic status with health change when populations age?
In Glasgow, life expectancy can range from 54 to 82 depending on whether people live in a deprived neighborhood or an affluent area. There are many reasons for such disparities; however, numerous studies have revealed a strong relationship between health and socioeconomic status (SES). Nonetheless, explaining this relationship mechanism is a different story since both SES and health rely on many different factors.
Using an innovative technique in structural econometrics, Dr. Koç hopes to fill this gap. Starting from existing studies, her first task will be to harmonize research findings and compare them to reality through the combined use of socioeconomic data and structural econometrics. The results of her work will provide an estimate of the relationship between health and SES, backed up by theory.
One of the objectives of this work is to test the relevance of certain public policies that affect both people’s health and socioeconomic status. Was an education policy efficiently implemented? Is this policy relevant everywhere or only in specific areas? These are some of the questions that Hale Koç’s research aims to answer.
Today, Koç’s research is focused on the Netherlands, but she is considering extending her model to other countries. As a very powerful tool for governments, this model will be highly valuable for the implementation of new health and socio-economic policies.

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