Being in good health is seen as one of the most valuable goods in life. Therefore it is viewed as unfair that certain groups within society, for example unmanied people or some ethnic groups, do not appeal' to enjoy an equal share of good health compared to other sections of the population. The perceived injustice is even more emphatic if differences in health correspond with the distribution of other goods (see Schuyt 1987). This is the case with inequalities in health between socio-economic groups which are the focus of this thesis. Empirical studies in many countries show that people who are worst off as far as their socio-economic position is concerned are also worst off when it comes to health. This thesis addresses the background of these socio-economic inequalities in health as well as the consequences for health policy. This chapter contains a brief introduction to the concept of social stratification and specifies roughly the objectives of this thesis.

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Netherlands Heart Foundation, Prevention Fund
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Stronks, K. (1997, April 16). Socio-economic inequalities in health : individual choice or social circumstances?. Retrieved from