Chapter

Social inequalities in health: the Nordic welfare state in a comparative context

Clare Bambra

in Changing Social Equality

Published by Policy Press

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9781847426604
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447305583 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847426604.003.0007
Social inequalities in health: the Nordic welfare state in a comparative context

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This chapter examines health inequality — its definition, measurement and theory — and then examines the role of welfare states in determining overall population health outcomes. The main studies in the comparative epidemiological literature on European health inequalities are then summarised, with a focus on the relative performance of the Nordic welfare states. The effects on health inequalities of changes to the Nordic welfare state are also examined. The chapter then uses the theories of health inequalities to examine why it is that the highly decommodifying Nordic welfare states do not have the smallest health inequalities in Europe. It concludes by reflecting on how any further changes to the Nordic welfare model may impact on health inequalities in the future.

Keywords: health inequalities; welfare state; comparative epidemiological literature; socio-economic status

Chapter.  9369 words. 

Subjects: Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility

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