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This study investigates the empirical validity of the material deprivation indices (MDIs) using a partial criterion variable, namely UHCNIR (unmet health care need due to inadequate resources). This alternative approach helps to assess absolute validity (Type I and II errors) and sources of error in the measurement of poverty for a specific aspect of poverty (in this case inability to receive adequate health care due to affordability problems). A simple mismatch analysis identifies a sizable group, around 1% of the adult EU population, missed by MDIs despite being in UHCNIR. A majority of this 1% experiences not only UHCNIR but also multiple other deprivations, commonly reports having some difficulties making ends meet, and prevalently has a disability or a chronic health problem. The analysis reveals that MDIs miss specifically those “unhealthy poor” since these measures do not include a relevant item, and thus cannot adjust for different needs and costs in health care and account for the distinct poverty experiences of these people. Therefore, the main methodological assumption of MDIs, identifying the people in poverty with only a limited set of key deprivation indicators is not supported by this empirical analysis.
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- Missing the Unhealthy? Examining Empirical Validity of Material Deprivation Indices (MDIs) Using a Partial Criterion Variable
- Springer Netherlands
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