Convergence in health status reflects not only a sense of equity but also provides a critical assessment tool for monitoring the health progress of individuals across the countries in the world. This study tests for the convergence hypothesis in the health status of individuals from 193 countries, using both standard and cutting-edge convergence metrics. The findings lend support to the “rise and fall” of world health inequalities measured using Life Expectancy at Birth (LEB) and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR). The test of absolute ß-convergence for the entire period and in the recent period supports the convergence hypothesis for LEB and rejects it for IMR. However, results also suggest a setback in the speed of convergence in health status across the countries in recent times. Evidence shows that from the late 1990s, convergence was replaced by greater divergence in health status, but in recent years there is evidence of re-convergence.
Presented in Session 177. Gains and Gaps in Life Expectancy