Tracing the source of inequality in health among Canadian residents in 2018 –An evaluation of inequality of opportunity

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University of New Brunswick


Using the 2018 wave of the Canadian Community Health Survey, I examine the impact of circumstances and efforts on health within an inequality of opportunity framework. Both Ex-ante and Ex-post methods are used, along with respective Shapley and KHB decompositions, to examine such impacts. Ex-ante regression results suggest that older respondents, those with less education, along with Indigenous Peoples of Canada, females, and non-married respondents are associated with a higher probability of poor health. The Shapely decomposition finds that 21.5% of health inequality is due to these observed circumstances. Ex-post regression results show that while smoking increases the risk of poor health, and physical activity decreases the risk of poor health (as expected), regular drinking decreases the probability of poor health. KHB methods indicate that efforts have minimal influence on circumstances, suggesting that policies directly addressing these circumstances may be particularly effective in improving the overall health of Canadians.