The Dynamics of Health and Welfare : A Methodological Study Analysing the Two Phenomena in Five Populations During the Early 2000s
Abstract: This paper aims to describe the dynamics of objective health and welfare in five populations, from the year 2000 to 2009, qua a methodological study. It proposes a three step approach to ensure the validity criteria in the conducted research process: firstly, to identify the relevant variables as predictors of the two phenomena, empiric studies and sociological theories by Esping-Andersen (1999) Nussbaum (1999, 2000, 2011), were consulted. This (with the data availability) frames the study to include five related categories of objective health and welfare indicators, including (1) demographic (e. g. life expectancy (LE), total fertility rate (TFR)), (2) child-welfare (i. e. under-five mortality rate (U5MR), (3) welfare services (immunization coverage and prevalence of tuberculosis (TB)), (4) education, and (5) indicators on health expenditure (HE). The applied theoretical frame–in a combination with the four posed research questions–indicates a need of an overall methodological approach that is primary quantitative. The data analysis follows an observational epidemiological type that is descriptive study, to analyse the indicators in five populations and two control groups. The study obtains descriptive data from three data bases, which are selected upon a qualitative analysis, to account for their validity and reliability. Further data analysis is strengthened qua the inclusion of the two control groups of populations, when appropriate. Since it wasn’t possible to compare data on populations across time, due to different data production methodologies. Main findings indicate that HE, immunization, TFR, male and female LE, U5MR and school enrolment, tend to diverge between and within the five populations, expressed in absolute and relative terms. The comparison of the estimated data for the five populations with the two control groups of populations, shows that most objective health and welfare indicators tend to converge, (within categories 1, 2 and 3, except TFR) when expressed in absolute and relative terms. When estimated data is analysed in the light of two sociological theories, it is evident that the existing gap between male and female LE, U5MR, and HE indicators can improve further.
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