nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2005‒11‒09
four papers chosen by
Yong Yin
SUNY at Buffalo, USA

  1. The Avian Flu Disease: A Case of Precautionary Failure By Marcello Basili; Mauriziop Franzini
  2. Trends in income inequality in the European Union: implications for health inequalities By Marta Pascual; David Cantarero; Jose Maria Sarabia
  3. Health-Risking Informal Service: Price, Prevalence and Law Enforcement By Levy, Amnon
  4. Health, human capital and economic growth in Brazil By Antonio Campino; Carlos Augusto Monteiro; W.L. Conde; F.M.S. Machado

  1. By: Marcello Basili; Mauriziop Franzini
    Abstract: The Precautionary Principle has been proposed as the proper behaviour to adopt in the face of the new catastrophic risks that have made their appearance in the last decades. We advance a workable definition of the Precautionary Principle and apply it to the possible outbreak among humans of the avian flu disease. We make use of a Principle-Agent model and show in which sense such outbreak can be considered a “Precautionary failure”.
    Keywords: ambiguity, avian flu, precautionary principle, multiple priors
    JEL: D81 I18 K32
    Date: 2005–07
  2. By: Marta Pascual; David Cantarero; Jose Maria Sarabia
    Abstract: The comparative analysis of income inequality across countries has acquired increasing importance in recent years. This paper is divided in two parts. The first one is focused on the analysis of income inequality in the European Union. To carry out this task, we use different models based on Lorenz curves and quantiles functions and different equivalence scales. The European Community Household Panel Data are used. The second part of the paper is focused on explaining the differences in income and health inequalities across European countries. In particular several hypotheses concerning the economic determinants of health inequalities are studied. KEY WORDS Income inequality, Lorenz curves, quantile functions, equivalence scales, European Community Household Panel, health inequalities
    Date: 2004–08
  3. By: Levy, Amnon (University of Wollongong)
    Abstract: The health-risking informal service is transacted when the expected extra satisfaction rate exceeds the ratio of the expected extra cost to the formal service price. Its prevalence decreases with the costs of risk bearing for the providers and clients. Law-enforcement effort lowers (raises) the informal service equilibrium price when the ratio of the providers' and the clients' degrees of absolute risk aversion is greater (smaller) than the ratio of the law-enforcement elasticities of their cost bearing. Spending on law enforcement is efficient when the public cost of the expected chain-infection stemming from the informal service exceeds a threshold level.
    Keywords: Unsafe sex service, risk bearing, sexually transmitted diseases, public costs, law enforcement
    JEL: I19 K32
    Date: 2005
  4. By: Antonio Campino; Carlos Augusto Monteiro; W.L. Conde; F.M.S. Machado
    Abstract: The main objective of the research is to analyze the relationship between population health status, and processes of economic growth and social development in Brazil by exploring the use of the population's nutritional and health variables to assess the quality of human capital and the mechanisms through which these variables may impact the country’s economic performance in terms of human capital formation, long-term economic growth, and social development. This research includes considerations on recent advances in the economic growth theory that contains the relationship between health, human capital, and long-term economic growth, as well as empirical evidence obtained from the analysis of an important Brazilian database, the Living Standards Measurement Survey, (Pesquisa de Padrao de Vida - PPV), a household survey conducted between 1996 and 1997 in both the Southeast and Northeast Regions of Brazil. The first part of the study focuses on information from individuals belonging to the group of economically active population (people between 19 and 59 years-old, both genders) to analyze the connection of individuals' health variables, such as height and health status, with socioeconomic variables, like income and educational attainment, controlling by area of residence (rural vs urban) and region (Northeast vs Southeast) The second part of the study focuses on information from individuals belonging to the group of economically active population (19 to 59 years-old both genders) with at least one child to support (2 to 21 years-old, both genders) in order to evaluate the intergenerational transmission of human capital, that is, analyzing the relations among parents data on health and nutritional status, income and educational attainment and the investment he/she is providing to the formation of human capital of his/her own child, controlling by area of residence (rural vs urban) and region (Northeast vs Southeast). Results lead to the conclusion that improvements generated through human capital investments made in one individual by the family do not finish at the individual himself, but are propagated to the next generations, independently from mechanisms of income. That is, relevant investments in human capital development, as educational attainment, nutrition, and health, create better opportunities to the individual in terms of employment and income. However, beyond these primary effects, there are secondary effects, mainly based on the transmission of human capital formation through generations, that result in population lifestyle changes, economic growth and development.
    Date: 2004–08

This nep-hea issue is ©2005 by Yong Yin. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.