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Keywords:

  • income;
  • welfare;
  • distribution;
  • health;
  • hierarchical

Income is robustly associated with health status. Higher income is associated with lower mortality and morbidity, both cross-nationally and within societies. This relationship is not just confined to low levels of income, but extends well beyond median levels of income in society with diminishing marginal returns to health status with additional increments in income. Drawing upon the absolute and relative interpretations of income and conceptualising them simul-taneously at the individual and community level, we develop a typology of income–health relationships and discuss the distinctiveness of, and connections between, each type. We conclude that a multilevel conceptual and methodological framework is most appropriate to understand the income–health relationship.