Table 1

Main implications of Durable Inequality Theory in the ethnicity and health domain

Research componentsMain theoretical claims under Durable Inequality TheoryImplications for public health and epidemiology
Research design
  • Comparison of different organisational or institutional arrangements

  • Focus on ties, organisations, networks, categories

  • Network analysis is helpful for behavioural risk factors

  • Longitudinal and multidisciplinary studies to analyse the interdependence of decisions at different life stages and across different domains

  • Comparative organisational studies: ethnic health inequalities rise for organisations that match ethnicity/race and socio-economic status

Classification of ethnicity
  • Categories defined along boundaries limiting access to valuable resources

  • Importance of the context in defining these boundaries

  • Use multidimensional binary categories to assess ethnic inequalities in health

  • Use flexible and contextualised categories

Explanatory factors
  • The role of belief is secondary

  • Alter organisational procedures

  • Make leadership accountable

  • Alter informal networks and friendships

  • Describe the role of ties in health behaviours and their psychological risk factors

  • Describe the organisational processes that account for the selection of some Ethnic Minority Groups in specific healthcare niches

Data analysis
  • Matching ethnicity with varying socio-economic status is the major driver of inequalities

  • The higher the level of matching, the higher the inequality

  • Controlling the ethnicity–health relationship for SES is not appropriate

  • Focus on the interaction between ethnicity and SES in health and healthcare

  • Assess cumulative inequality within a domain, across domains and across generations