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Poverty and Health State in Poland: Evidence From Regional Perspective

Maciej Jewczak, University of Lodz,
Published: 20 October 2020

Abstract: Purpose: The main goal of the paper is to investigate the association between poverty and health and to assess the Polish NUTS-2 level differentiation with time points of the analysis set for 2013 and 2018. Design/methodology/approach: In order to collate poverty and health state, two separate data sets have been created, consisting of determinants that describe the various aspects of combined phenomena, differentiated among Polish regions. We use data on poverty and health across Polish voivodships. Our data sets are obtained from Local Data Bank (LDB) of the Polish Central Statistical Office (CSO). On the basis of the proposed indicators, the multidimensional character of the phenomena is examined, and the degree of their intensity and changes in tendencies over time are assessed. Health State Index (HIS) and Poverty Index (PoI) individual measures were further compiled in the development matrix. Findings: The results indicate a link between health and poverty at the regional level, while the usage of the development matrix technique allows the assessment of opportunities and threats for selected spatial units. The results confirm both positive as well as negative changes in indices levels in the analysed period. Moreover, the strength of this relationship decreases slightly over the selected time points. The identified changes originate mainly in recorded levels of poverty, while the situation of spatial objects in 2018 (compared to 2013) deteriorates mainly due to reasons related to the state of health. Research limitations/implications: Because of the design of the development matrix, it is not advised to use the technique for a high number of objects/units. The proposed approach could give certain information on the rate of changes, indicating the increases/decreases in the combined indicator levels. Although the results are summarised by an image of coordinates in the development matrix space diagram, the identification of a unique object might be limited. Hence, only overall tendencies, like for the correlation scatterplot, could be illustrated by the graph. However, this does not diminish the importance of this technique, and by applying appropriate sampling, the in-depth study of both poverty and health state could be easily achieved. Originality/value: The research study assumed to use several groups of indicators for the construction of synthetic indices. The proposed measures highlight a multidimensional concept of the analysed phenomena. The research can be an example of a supportive tool for planning regional strategies that are aimed at improving the health condition or reducing poverty intensity.
Keywords: differentiation / Polish / multidimensional / time points / matrix / tendencies / poverty and health state

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