Research Seminar Series on “Global Challenges” -Owen O’Donnell (Erasmus University Rotterdam and Tinbergen Institute), 18th May 2023 at 12.15 p.m. (CET)

Research Seminar Series on “Global Challenges”

Owen O’Donnell  (Erasmus University Rotterdam and Tinbergen Institute) on “Aversion to Health Inequality – Pure, Income-Related and Income-Caused” (with Matthew Robson and Tom Van Ourti), jointly organised by the Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano, BAFFI CAREFIN and the Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods (University of Milan) in collaboration with the Dipartimento di Economia, Metodi Quantitativi e Strategie di Impresa (UniversitĂ  Milano Bicocca) and the Dipartimento di Ingegneria Gestionale (Politecnico di Milano) and the Department of Economics (University of Insubria).

The seminar will be held on Thursday, 18th May 2023 at 12:15 p.m. (CET) in a hybrid format:

– DEMM seminar room, Via Conservatorio 7, 2nd floor.

– Via Zoom. Please register by email to


We design a novel experiment to identify aversion to pure (univariate) health inequality separately from aversion to income-related and income-caused health inequality.
Participants allocate resources to determine health of individuals. Identi cation comes from random variation in resource productivity and in information on income and its causal effect. We gather data (26,286 observations) from a UK representative sample (n=337) and estimate pooled and participant-speci fic social preferences while accounting for noise. The median person has strong aversion to pure health inequality, challenging the health maximisation objective of economic evaluation. Aversion to health inequality is even stronger when it is related to income. However, the median person prioritises health of poorer individuals less than is assumed in the standard measure of income-related health inequality. On average, aversion to that inequality does not become stronger when low income is known to cause ill-health. There is substantial heterogeneity in all three types of inequality aversion.