nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2005‒02‒27
five papers chosen by
Yong Yin
SUNY at Buffalo, USA

  1. The Sources of Quality in the Pharmaceutical Industry By Enrique Yacuzzi; Fernando Martín; Gabriel Vignola; Verónica Mayochi; Dante Tollio
  2. Income inequality and self-rated health status: Evidence from the European Community Household Panel By Hildebrand, Vincent; Van Kerm, Philippe
  3. Life, Death, and the Economy: Mortality Change in Overlapping-Generations Model By Qi Li; Shripad Tuljapurkar
  4. Are Illegal Drugs Inferior Goods? By Suryadipta Roy
  5. Mortality Change, the Uncertainty Effect, and Retirement By Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan; David N. Weil

  1. By: Enrique Yacuzzi; Fernando Martín; Gabriel Vignola; Verónica Mayochi; Dante Tollio
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the sources of quality of a pharmaceutical product. After identifying eight quality dimensions, a framework of hypothetical sources that contribute the most to shape those dimensions is established. The framework, based on Garvin’s pioneering work, is applied to case studies of laboratories operating in Argentina. Framework relevance is considered using correlation analysis. Laboratories are ranked through expert opinion by the quality of its products using the eight dimensions mentioned above; it is observed that there is no perfect parallelism in ranking along all dimensions, possibly revealing different managerial priorities and uses of resources among laboratories, as well as different sources of quality and different business strategies. Correlation analysis also suggests that the study of a pharmaceutical product is a complex task when a modern concept of quality is considered. Once the existence of different quality dimensions is accepted, the following two questions are investigated: (1) Are there specific sources of quality that support some dimensions (and not others) and that are based on identifiable organizational aspects or specific technologies? (2) What are the generic sources of quality (affecting all dimensions) and in what way do they contribute to improve performance or highlight quality dimensions? It is assumed as a starting point that among the sources of quality there are generic sources, affecting all dimensions, and specific sources, which affect only some dimensions. In concrete cases, specific quality sources are identified, although the search for specific quality sources for each dimension is not conclusive. The study of generic quality sources, however, suggests that corporate systems, corporate culture, and management policies contribute to incorporate quality in a product. Thus quality results from the interaction between generic and specific sources. In the final part of the paper, recommendations for academics and industrialists are provided, as well as some conclusions.
    Keywords: Pharmaceutical product, Garvin’s quality dimensions, quality sources, pharmaceutical laboratories in Argentina, corporate systems, corporate culture.
    JEL: M10 M11 M14
    Date: 2004–12
  2. By: Hildebrand, Vincent (Department of Economics, Glendon College, York University, Canada and CEPS/INSTEAD, G.-D. Luxembourg); Van Kerm, Philippe (CEPS/INSTEAD, G.-D. Luxembourg)
    Abstract: We examine the effect of income inequality on individual self-rated health status in a pooled sample of 10 member states of the European Union using longitudinal data from the European Community Household Panel (ECHP) survey. Taking advantage of the longitudinal and cross-national nature of our data, and carefully modelling the self-reported health information, we avoid several of the pitfalls suffered by earlier studies on this topic. We calculate income inequality indices measured at two standard levels of geography (NUTS-0 and NUTS-1) and find consistent evidence that income inequality is negatively related to self-rated health status in the European Union for both men and women. However, despite its statistical significance, the magnitude of the impact of inequality on health is small.
    Keywords: Self-rated health; Income inequality; European Union; Panel data
    Date: 2005–01
  3. By: Qi Li (Stanford University); Shripad Tuljapurkar (Stanford University)
    Abstract: Demographers have shown that there are regularities in mortality change overtime, and have used these to forecast changes due to population aging. Such models leave out potential economic feedbacks that should be captured by dynamic models such as the general-equilibrium, overlapping-generations model first studied by Yaari and Blanchard. Previous analytical and simple numerical work by economists has focused on comparative statics and used simplistic representations of mortality, such as the assumption of a constant age-independent death rate, or some parametric approximation to a survival curve. We show that it is straight forward to analyze equilibria in such models if we work with the probability distribution of the age at death. US and other data show that this distribution can be plausibly described by a normal distribution {for this case we obtain analytical results. For the general case we have numerical results. We show that a proper accounting for the uncertainty of when one dies has significant qualitative and quantitative effects on the equilibria of such economic models. There are, in turn, significant lessons to be drawn for models of future fiscal policy.
    Date: 2004–01
  4. By: Suryadipta Roy (Department of Economics, West Virginia University)
    Abstract: Using data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, evidence of income inferiority in illegal drug consumption is presented. This is done by estimation of binary choice probit models with endogenous regressors. The simultaneity issue between drug consumption and income has been addressed by using a two-step estimation procedure. The results indicate that accounting for simultaneity shows income inferiority with regard to drug consumption. An implication of this study is that income distributive policies might be effective in controlling drug consumption. It also points out the regressive nature of the government’s substance abuse program.
    Keywords: income inferiority, illegal drugs, public policy
    JEL: H51 I12
  5. By: Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan (Department of Economics, University of Houston); David N. Weil
    Abstract: We examine the role of declining mortality in explaining the rise of retirement over the course of the 20th century. We construct a model in which individuals make labor/leisure choices over their lifetimes subject to uncertainty about their date of death. In an environment in which mortality is high, an individual who saved up for retirement would face a high risk of dying before he could enjoy his planned leisure. In this case, the optimal plan is for people to work until they die. As mortality falls, however, it becomes optimal to plan, and save for, retirement. We simulate our model using actual changes in the US life table over the last century, and show that this “uncertainty effect” of declining mortality would have more than outweighed the “horizon effect” by which rising life expectancy would have led to later retirement. A calibration exercise, allowing for heterogeneity in tastes and other non-mortality factors influencing retirement, shows that falling mortality plausibly had a quantitatively significant effect on retirement.
    JEL: E21 I12 J11 J26
    Date: 2004–08

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