nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2006‒09‒11
three papers chosen by
Yong Yin
SUNY at Buffalo, USA

  1. Income Risk and Health By Timothy Halliday
  2. Superstition, family planning, and human development By Do, Quy-Toan; Phung, Tung Duc
  3. Government Health Expenditures and Health Outcomes By Farasat A.S. Bokhari; Yunwei Gai; Pablo Gottret

  1. By: Timothy Halliday (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa; John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa)
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the impact of aggregate and idiosyncratic economic shocks on health using data on self-reported health status and mortality from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. We document a large correlation between poor macroeconomic conditions and mortality for working-aged men. This correlation is robust to controls for baseline health which mitigates concerns that the correlation is the result of selection. There is no relationship between macroeconomic conditions and mortality for women. To better understand how much of this correlation is the result of a causal impact of income shocks on health, we use methods from the literature on dynamic panel data models. Doing this, we find evidence that, on average, adverse income shocks negatively impact health outcomes. These effects are dominated by transitions into the very bottom of the earnings distribution.
    Keywords: Gradient, Recessions, Health, Dynamic Panel Data Models
    JEL: I0 I12 J1
    Date: 2006
  2. By: Do, Quy-Toan; Phung, Tung Duc
    Abstract: According to Vietnamese astrology, dates of birth are believed to be determinants of success, luck, character, and good match between individuals. But how far does this go? To document the influence of superstition on individuals ' behavior, the authors examine fertility decisions made in Vietnam between 1976 and 1996. They find that birth cohorts in auspicious years are significantly larger than in other years. Children born in auspicious years moreover do better both in health and education. While parental characteristics seem to affect fertility choices and human development simultaneously, the analysis suggests that family planning is one key mechanism leading to the observed differences in outcomes: in a society in which superstition is widespread, children born in auspicious years are more likely to have been planned by their parents, thus benefiting from more favorable financial, psychological, or affective conditions for better human development.
    Keywords: Youth and Governance,Health Monitoring & Evaluation,Adolescent Health,Primary Education,Early Childhood Development
    Date: 2006–08–01
  3. By: Farasat A.S. Bokhari (Department of Economics, Florida State University); Yunwei Gai (Department of Economics, Florida State University); Pablo Gottret (Health Systems Development Cluster, World Bank)
    Abstract: This paper provides econometric evidence linking a country's per capita government health expenditures and per capita income to two health outcomes: under-five mortality and maternal mortality. Using instrumental variables techniques (GMM-H2SL), we estimate the elasticity of these outcomes with respect to government health expenditures and income while treating both variables as endogenous. Consequently, our elasticity estimates are larger in magnitude than those reported in literature, which may be biased up. The elasticity of under-five mortality with respect to government expenditures ranges from -.25 to -.42 with a mean value of -.33. For maternal mortality the elasticity ranges from -.42 to -.52 with a mean value of -.50. For developing countries, our results imply that while economic growth is certainly an important contributor to health outcomes, government spending on health is just as important a factor.
    Keywords: Under-five mortality, maternal-mortality, millennium development goals, government expenditures, elasticity
    Date: 2005–02

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