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Socioeconomic inequality in the use of long-term care among European older adults: an empirical approach using the SHARE survey

Abstract: The increase in the proportion of elderly people in developed societies has several consequences, such as the rise in demand for long-term care (LTC). Due to cost, inequalities may arise and punish low-income households. Our objective is to examine socioeconomic inequalities in LTC utilization in Europe. We use the last wave from the Survey of Health, Aging, and Retirement in Europe SHARE (Munich Center for the Economics of Ageing, Munich, Germany), dated 2017, to analyze the impact of socioeconomic status (SES) on LTC. For this purpose, we construct logistic models and control for socioeconomic/household characteristics, health status, and region. Then, concentration indices are calculated to assess the distribution of LTC. Moreover, we also analyze horizontal inequity by using the indirect need-standardization process. We use two measures of SES (household net total income and household net wealth) to obtain robust results. Our findings demonstrate that informal care is concentrated among low-SES households, whereas formal care is concentrated in high-SES households. The results for horizontal concentration indices show a pro-rich distribution in both formal and informal LTC.We add new empirical evidence by showing the dawning of deep social inequalities in LTC utilization. Policymakers should implement policies focused on people who need care to tackle socioeconomic inequalities in LTC.

 Authorship: Lera J., Pascual-Sáez M., Cantarero-Prieto D.,

 Fuente: International journal of environmental research and public health, 2021, 18, 20.

 Publisher: MDPI

 Year of publication: 2021

 No. of pages: 14

 Publication type: Article

 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18010020

 ISSN: 1661-7827,1660-4601