A capabilities approach to population health and public policy-making

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A capabilities approach to population health and public policy-making

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Title: A capabilities approach to population health and public policy-making
Author: Hall, Peter A.; Taylor, R.C.R.; Barnes, L.

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Citation: Hall, P.A., R.C.R. Taylor, and L. Barnes. 2013. “A Capabilities Approach to Population Health and Public Policy-Making.” Revue d’Épidémiologie et de Santé Publique 61 (August): S177–S183. doi:10.1016/j.respe.2013.05.016.
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Abstract: Background. – The objective of this study is to outline a capabilities approach to the social determinants of population health and to compare its explanatory power and implications for public policy-making with psychosocial approaches. Methods. – A model linking the structures of economic and social relations to health outcomes is developed and logistic methods used to confirm its base validity for a representative sample of 16,488 citizens in 19 developed democracies drawn from the World Values Surveys of 1990 and 2005. Self-reported health is the dependent variable. Age, gender, education, employment status, self-mastery, income, autonomy at work, ties to family and friends, subjective social status, associational memberships and sense of national belonging are considered. † Results. – At baseline, risk ratios reflecting movement from the 25th to 75th percentile in the distribution of the variable indicate that increases in income reduce the likelihood of poor health (0.78; 0.73-0.82) as does higher autonomy at work (0.90; 0.85-0.94) but so does access to social resources reflected in ties to family and friends (0.89; 0.86-0.92), associational memberships (0.93; 0.89-0.98), subjective social status (0.77; 0.54-0.90) while the absence of feelings of national belonging increases the likelihood of poor health (1.14; 1.06-1.23). Conclusion – The results suggest that population health is dependent on the distribution of social as well as economic resources along the dimensions predicted by a capabilities model. Governments should be attentive to the impact of policy on the distribution of social, as well as economic, resources.
Published Version: 10.1016/j.respe.2013.05.016
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Open Access Policy Articles, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#OAP
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:33470136
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