This study aims at providing preliminary evidence on the evolution of health inequalities in Italy during the last decades, comparing aggregate data with microdata supplied by ISTAT in the available waves of the survey “Health and access to health services”. We provide three main conclusions. First, the evidence on the evolution of health inequalities across Regions at the macro level is consistent with findings at the individual level. Using similar indicators of health status, we find that health inequalities are reducing over time. As Italian Regions received increasing responsibilities for health policies, this result suggests indirectly that the process of decentralization did not impact negatively on health inequalities. Second, our results largely confirm the correlation between health and socio-economic conditions: both the size and the dynamics of inequalities are influenced by individuals’ education and income. Finally, we suggest caution in using subjective indicators for the assessment of the evolution of health inequalities, since these measures are characterized by different trends with respect to objective indicators of health; this is particularly true for the more disadvantaged individuals.
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