Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Seminar on Health Inequalities

Following on from Kevin's post:

'The Spirit Level: why more equal societies almost always do better' Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett Seminar, Dublin

4 June 2009, Dublin

The Institute of Public Health in Ireland (IPH) are hosting a seminar with authors Richard Wilkinson and Kate Picket to discuss their new book, The Spirit Level.

The Spirit Level shows that more unequal societies are bad for almost everyone - rich as well as poor. This ground-breaking book, based on thirty years research, opens up a major new approach to improving our health, happiness and environmental sustainability. It demonstrates that achieving greater income equality is the key to addressing our social ills and improving quality of life for everyone.

Hear the evidence and make up your own mind!

Richard Wilkinson is Professor Emeritus at the University of Nottingham Medical School, and Kate Pickett is a Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology at the University of York.

5.00 – 6.30pm on Thursday 4 June, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, Kildare Street,
Dublin 2

As places are limited they will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Please reply to sharon.brennan@publichealth.ie to attend the Belfast event or aisling.oconnor@publichealth.ie to attend the Dublin event.


Kevin Denny said...

I haven't read this work but have earlier flagged a nice paper by Angus Deaton which, I think, is critical of this general approach which suggest that equality is good for health standards. The usual concerns about causality are particularly appropriate: if equity is a "normal good" we would expect to see a positive correlation between affluence and equality. Intuitively, one can easily imagine that as countries get richer then, perhaps after some point, people loosen up a bit & evince more concern for equality,the environment etc.

Mark McG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark McG said...

I haven't read their book either, but one of the authors was involved in an interesting debate in the BMJ on the subject

Income Distribution and Life Expectancy, Wilkinson, RGAnd

Income Distribution and Life Expectancy: A Critical Appraisal, Judge, K

Kevin Denny said...

I have read both papers 'though not very thoroughly. I am underwhelmed by the quality of Wilkinson's analysis. The comment by Judge is mainly about how the cross country data on inequality is used and seems to be fair comment.But the real weakness is the assumption that there is a causal relationship from inequality to health. Wilkinson does discuss the possibilities arising from the correlation he observes (& which Judge disputes) but I found the arguments ad hoc and unconvincing. If this is the best that epidemiology can do then God help us.