nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2007‒12‒19
five papers chosen by
Yong Yin
SUNY at Buffalo, USA

  1. Predictions by early indicators of the time and height of yearly influenza outbreaks in Sweden By Andersson, Eva; Kühlmann-Berenzon, Sharon; Linde, Annika; Schiöler, Linus; Rubinova, Sandra; Frisén, Marianne
  2. Scaling Up Malaria Control in Africa: An Economic and Epidemiological Assessment By Awash Teklehaimanot; Gordon C. McCord; Jeffrey D. Sachs
  4. The impoverishing effect of adverse health events : evidence from the western Balkans By Gragnolati, Michele; Bredenkamp, Caryn; Mendola, Mariapia
  5. Further evidence on the link between health care spending and health outcomes in England By Stephen Martin; Nigel Rice; Peter C Smith

  1. By: Andersson, Eva (Statistical Research Unit, Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Kühlmann-Berenzon, Sharon (Department of Epidemiology, Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, Stockholm Group for Epidemic Modelling); Linde, Annika (Department of Epidemiology, Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control); Schiöler, Linus (Statistical Research Unit, Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Rubinova, Sandra (Department of Epidemiology, Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control); Frisén, Marianne (Statistical Research Unit, Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: Aims: Methods for prediction of the peak of the influenza from early observations are suggested. These predictions can be used for planning purposes. Methods: In this study, new robust methods are described and applied on weekly Swedish data on influenza-like illness (ILI) and weekly laboratory diagnoses of influenza (LDI). Both simple and advanced rules for how to predict the time and height of the peak of LDI are suggested. The predictions are made using covariates calculated from data in early LDI reports. The simple rules are based on the observed LDI values while the advanced ones are based on smoothing by unimodal regression. The suggested predictors were evaluated by cross-validation and by application to the observed seasons. Results: The relation between ILI and LDI was investigated and it was found that the ILI variable is not a good proxy for the LDI variable. The advanced prediction rule regarding the time of the peak of LDI had a median error of 0.9 weeks, and the advanced prediction rule for the height of the peak had a median deviation of 28%. Conclusions: The statistical methods for predictions have practical usefulness.
    Keywords: Prediction; Influenza; Outbreak
    JEL: C10
    Date: 2007–01–01
  2. By: Awash Teklehaimanot; Gordon C. McCord; Jeffrey D. Sachs
    Abstract: This paper estimates the number of people at risk of contracting malaria in Africa using GIS methods and the disease's epidemiologic characteristics. It then estimates yearly costs of covering the population at risk with the package of interventions (differing by level of malaria endemicity and differing for rural and urban populations) for malaria as recommended by the UN Millennium Project. These projected costs are calculated assuming a ramp-up of coverage to full coverage by 2008, and then projected out through 2015 to give a year-by-year cost of meeting the Millennium Development Goal for reducing the burden of malaria by 75% We conclude that the cost of comprehensive malaria control for Africa is US$3.0 billion per year on average, or around US$4.02 per African at risk.
    JEL: I18
    Date: 2007–11
  3. By: Stefania Mojon-Azzi; Alfonso Sousa-Poza
    Abstract: This study examines the relationship between hypertension and life satisfaction using objective measures of hypertension from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). Our results confirm the analysis in Blanchflower and Oswald (2007): there is a significant negative correlation between high blood-pressure problems and life satisfaction.
    Keywords: Hypertension, blood pressure, life satisfaction
    JEL: I10 I12 I19
    Date: 2007–12
  4. By: Gragnolati, Michele; Bredenkamp, Caryn; Mendola, Mariapia
    Abstract: This paper investigates the extent to which the health systems of the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and Kosovo) have succeeded in providing financial protection against adverse health events. The authors examine disparities in health status, healthcare utilization, and out-of-pocket payments for healthcare (including informal payments), and explore the impact of healthcare expenditures on household economic status and poverty. Methodologies include (i) generating a descriptive assessment of health and healthcare disparities across socioeconomic groups, (ii) measuring the incidence and intensity of catastrophic healthcare payments, (iii) examining the effect of out-of-pocket payments on poverty headcount and poverty gap measures, and (iv) running sets of country-specific probit regressions to model the relationship between health status, healthcare utilization, and poverty. On balance, the findings show that the impact of health expenditures on household economic wellbeing and poverty is most severe in Albania and Kosovo, while Montenegro is striking for the financial protection that the health system seems to provide. Data are drawn from Living Standards and Measurement Surveys.
    Keywords: Health Monitoring & Evaluation,Health Systems Development & Reform,Health Economics & Finance,Population Policies,Rural Poverty Reduction
    Date: 2007–12–01
  5. By: Stephen Martin (Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York); Nigel Rice (Centre for Health Economics, University of York); Peter C Smith (Centre for Health Economics, University of York)
    Abstract: This report describes results from research funded by the Health Foundation under its Quest for Quality and Improved Performance (QQuIP) initiative. It builds on our earlier report for the Health Foundation – The link between health care spending and health outcomes: evidence from English programme budgeting data – that took advantage of the availability of a major new dataset to examine the relationship between health care expenditure and mortality rates for two disease categories (cancer and circulation problems) across 300 English Primary Care Trusts. Our results are useful from a number of perspectives. Scientifically, they confirm our previous findings that health care has an important impact on health across a range of conditions, suggesting that those results were robust across programmes of care and across years. From a policy perspective, these results can help set priorities by informing resource allocation across a larger number of programmes of care. They also add further evidence to help NICE decide whether its current QALY threshold is at the right level.
    Date: 2007–12

This nep-hea issue is ©2007 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.