Assessing the contribution of poverty to educational differentials in disability in 26 European countries

Emmanuelle Cambois, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Aïda Solé-Auró, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Jean-Marie Robine, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) and Université de Montpellier I

Objectives To what extent the European variation in the social inequalities in disability is associated to the variation in the level of poverty. Methods: Using European Statistics on Income and Living Condition (EU-SILC) for 26 countries, we measure the prevalence activity limitation (AL) and the level of economic hardship (EH). Logistic regressions measure the AL excess-prevalence (disadvantage) of low-educated relative to the middle-educated and the AL reduced-prevalence (advantage) of high-educated, accounting or not for EH. We replicate the same analysis, estimating the extent of the contribution of EH via KHB logistic models to see the variation in the contribution of poverty across countries, for the low- and for the high-education groups. Results: We found substantial country variations in the levels of EH and in the size of the AL-advantage/disadvantage across educational groups. EH contributes to the AL-advantage and disadvantage, but appears to be related differently according to the country. We describe four cases considering the variation of both the magnitude of the educational differences in disability and the contribution of EH to these differences in comparison to the average pattern. These cases gather countries with very different economic and welfare contexts. Discussion: Contexts with large EH go along with an increased AL-advantage and/or disadvantage across educational groups. Policy actions to reduce poverty in Europe should help reducing the overall levels of disability and the related social inequalities. Meanwhile, the contribution of EH is not straightforward, and it changes according to the material deprivation of each population group. Further research is needed to understand the association between disability differentials and material deprivation.

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Presented in Session 63: Health and education