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Theses Master's

The Risk of Inequality: A Quantitative Research Proposal Exploring Effects of Income Inequality on Risk-Taking

Khorrami, Peggah

Economic inequality has been rapidly increasing around the world. Increased income inequality has been associated with poorer financial and health outcomes. However, the mechanisms linking inequality to these outcomes is not fully understood. A recent study has posited that inequality may promote poor outcomes partly by increasing risky behavior. However, prior research has suggested an opposite effect, with greater inequality being linked to decreased risk-taking. This research proposal aims to reconcile the varying evidence regarding the effect of inequality on individual risk-taking. The proposed study employs primary and secondary quantitative analyses to assess the relationship between income inequality and
individual decision-making with regards to risk in multiple populations. The primary analysis uses data from the Community Health Network (CHN) patients in New York City to understand the link between inequality and risk-taking in an underserved population (n=50,000). The secondary analysis uses data from a study aiming to test the replicability of Prospect Theory around the world (n=4,099). This dataset is used to measure inequality on a larger country-level scale. Finally, the suitability of risk-taking as a metric for understanding health behavior is assessed through the relationship between risk-taking and missed preventive appointments.


More About This Work

Academic Units
Sociomedical Sciences
Thesis Advisors
Ruggeri, Kai
Bogart, Jane S.
M.P.H., Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
Published Here
May 13, 2020