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Challenging Inequities in HealthFrom Ethics to Action$
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Timothy Evans, Margaret Whitehead, Finn Diderichsen, Abbas Bhuiya, and Meg Wirth

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195137408

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195137408.001.0001

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Sweden and Britain: The Impact of Policy Context on Inequities in Health

Sweden and Britain: The Impact of Policy Context on Inequities in Health

(p.240) Chapter 17 Sweden and Britain: The Impact of Policy Context on Inequities in Health
Challenging Inequities in Health






Oxford University Press

In comparing two western European countries, Sweden and the United Kingdom, this chapter demonstrates a methodology for distinguishing empirically between causal pathways in order to explain the way that macro-policies affect health. It examines the hypothesis that the effect of poverty on health may be weaker in Sweden than in Britain—that being poor in Sweden may be less damaging to health than being poor in Britain. It questions which aspects of the social and policy context in Britain add to and reinforce the negative experience of being poor, and, conversely, which aspects of living in Swedish society may be more supportive for poor people, possibly making the experience of poverty less stressful and damaging to health. The two countries serve as a “natural policy experiment” and make the case for more robust health equity impact assessments.

Keywords:   Sweden, United Kingdom, health equity impact assessment, methodology

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