Elena Avetova “Socioeconomic status and health: determining the main socioeconomic predictors of health disparities in the countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union”. Working paper.
The aim of this paper is to examine socioeconomic inequalities in health in 13 countries of Eastern Europe (CEE) and the former Soviet Union (FSU) by determining which indicators of socioeconomic status (SES) are significantly associated with health status. SES is a multidimensional concept which captures different aspects of one’s social and financial circumstances. There are objective components of SES such as education, occupational status, income and material resources or wealth and subjective indicators such as the self-perceived material situation. The studies conducted in the post-communist countries in the 1990s, at the time when socioeconomic transitions just began, showed an inconsistency in the relationship between some traditional indicators of SES (i.e. education and income) and health compared to that seen in the USA and Western European countries. Including different SES indications in the analyses serves two purposes, firstly, to capture different aspects of overall health risk associated with various SES, and, secondly, to identify which SES indicators are more significant in predicting health outcomes in the countries of CEE and FSU. Sequential logistic regression models are used to examine associations between socioeconomic indicators including adult socioeconomic status (education and occupational class), material resources and circumstances (income, home ownership and financial difficulties) and early life socioeconomic circumstances (family structure and parental education) and self-rated health for each country separately. The issue of multicollinearity is addressed.