• health inequality;
  • measurement of economic status;
  • asset index;
  • Tanzania


We analyze deaths among prime-aged men and women during a 13-year period in a high AIDS mortality setting and examine the distribution of deaths by the economic status of these individuals at baseline using the 1991–2004 Kagera Health and Development Survey (KHDS). We investigate whether the distribution of subsequent prime-age adult deaths as measured by concentration indices depends on the measure of living standards used. We compare the performance of three measures: (1) per capita expenditure; (2) a modern wealth asset index replicating the asset index included in the 2004 Tanzanian AIDS Indicator Survey data file; and (3) a traditional wealth asset index, which includes only measures of traditional wealth. We find no evidence that economic status is linked to prime-age adult deaths, for both men and women, regardless of the measure of economic status used. This finding suggests both that more generally the measure of economic status used does not appear to be crucial, and specifically that relationships using traditional measures of wealth do not seem to differ from those using conventional measures. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.