nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2008‒06‒13
six papers chosen by
Yong Yin
SUNY at Buffalo, USA

  1. The Economic Impact of AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa By Azomahou, Theophile
  2. An Economic Analysis of Obesity in Europe: Health, Medical Care and Absenteeism Costs By Anna Sanz de Galdeano
  3. Health, Stress, and Social Networks: Evidence from Union Army Veterans By Dora L. Costa; Matthew E. Kahn
  4. The Health Costs of Inaction with Respect to Air Pollution By Pascale Scapecchi
  5. The Impact of Universal Health Insurance on Catastrophic and Out-of-Pocket Health Expenditures in Mexico: a Model with an Endogoenous Treatment Variable By Galarrága, O; Sosa-Rubí, S. G; Salinas, A; Sesma, S
  6. Leakage of Public Resources in the Health Sector: An Empirical Investigation of Chad By Bernard Gauthier; Waly Wane

  1. By: Azomahou, Theophile (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: In this paper, a simple general equilibrium model à la Solow is developed to capture the impact of AIDS on economic growth. To this end, a benchmark model due to Cuddington and Hancock (1994) is extended in various directions. In particular, the sharply declining life expectancy patterns are clearly re°ected in the enlarged model through a generic Ben-Porath mechanism. AIDS-related health expenditures are incorporated as well. Using up-do-date optimal forecasting methods, the model applied to South Africa shows that while a relatively short term assessment might not reveal any dramatic AIDS growth e®ect, the medium/long run impact can be truly devastating. In particular, the heavy trends in mortality and life expectancy currently induced by AIDS are shown to be potentially at least twice more detrimen-tal for per capita economic growth in the period 2020-2030 compared to 2000-2010.
    Keywords: Epidemics, Life Expectancy, Economic Growth, AIDS
    JEL: C61 C62 O41
    Date: 2008
  2. By: Anna Sanz de Galdeano
    Abstract: Obesity is not only a health but also an economic phenomenon with potentially important direct and indirect economic costs that are unlikely to be fully internalized by the obese. In the US, obesity prevalence is the highest among OECD countries and the issue has long been the focus of policy debate and academic research. However, European obesity rates are rising and there is still a lack of economic analysis of the obesity phenomenon in Europe. This paper attempts to fill in this gap by using longitudinal micro-evidence from the European Community Household Panel to assess the importance of several costs of obesity in nine EU countries. The analysis provides nationally comparable estimates of the costs of obesity in terms of health, use of health care services and absenteeism.
    Date: 2007–12
  3. By: Dora L. Costa; Matthew E. Kahn
    Abstract: We find that veterans of the Union Army who faced greater wartime stress (as measured by higher battlefield mortality rates) experienced higher mortality rates at older ages, but that men who were from more cohesive companies were statistically significantly less likely to be affected by wartime stress. Our results hold for overall mortality, mortality from ischemic heart disease and stroke, and new diagnoses of arteriosclerosis. Our findings represent one of the first long-run health follow-ups of the interaction between stress and social networks in a human population in which both stress and social networks are arguably exogeneous.
    JEL: I12 Z13
    Date: 2008–06
  4. By: Pascale Scapecchi
    Abstract: How much does the environment affect human health? Is air pollution shortening our lives and those of our children? These questions are fundamental to environmental policies. Air pollution is a major environmental health threat in OECD countries, contributing to a number of illnesses, such as asthma, cancer and premature deaths. Despite national and international interventions and decreases in major emissions, the health impacts of air pollution are not likely to decrease in the years ahead, unless appropriate action is taken. This report presents estimates of the costs and benefits of environmental policies aiming at reducing air pollution and provides policy recommendations in order to better address environmental health issues. <BR>Dans quelle mesure l'environnement influe-t-il sur la santé humaine ? La pollution de l'air va-t-elle restreindre notre espérance de vie et celle de nos enfants ? Ces questions sont fondamentales pour les politiques environnementales. Dans les pays de l'OCDE, la pollution atmosphérique constitue une menace pour la santé, puisqu'elle joue un rôle dans nombre d'affections, telles que l'asthme, certains cancers et de décès prématurés. En dépit des actions engagées à l'échelle nationale et internationale et de la baisse des principales émissions, il est peu probable que les effets de la pollution de l'air sur la santé diminuent dans les années à venir à moins que ne soient prises les mesures qui s'imposent. Ce rapport présente des estimations des coûts et bénéfices de politiques environnementales visant à réduire la pollution atmosphérique et propose des recommandations politiques afin de mieux traiter les questions de santé environnementale.
    JEL: D61 D62 H43 I18 Q51 Q53
    Date: 2008–06–06
  5. By: Galarrága, O; Sosa-Rubí, S. G; Salinas, A; Sesma, S
    Abstract: The main goal of Seguro Popular is to improve the financial protection of the uninsured population against excessive health expenditures. Seguro Popular (SP) covers a variety of preventive and curative procedures, as well as medicines, and hospital care for the poorest segment of the Mexican population. Data: This paper estimates the impact of Seguro Popular on catastrophic health expenditures, as well as out-of-pocket health expenditures, from three different sources: National Household Survey of Income and Expenditures (ENIGH 2006); National Health and Nutrition Survey (ENSANUT 2006); and SP Impact Evaluation Survey. Methods: We first estimate naive probit models, and then compare them against bivariate probit models which use instrumental variables that take advantage of the specific SP implementation mechanisms to address the endogeneity of insurance selection choices. Results: No effect on catastrophic health expenditures is observed in the ENIGH sample. However, we find a statistically significant effect on the reduction of household’s expenditures on medicines and outpatient care. On the other hand, Seguro Popular reduces the probability of catastrophic health expenditures using the other two datasets: SP Impact Evaluation Survey, and ENSANUT. We also observe a reduction of the probability of expenditures on medicines and outpatient care among the SP insured families.
    Keywords: catastrophic health expenditures; health insurance; instrumental variables; non-linear methods; Mexico
    JEL: I18 I38
    Date: 2008–06
  6. By: Bernard Gauthier; Waly Wane (-)
    Abstract: In the public sector in developing countries, leakage of public resources could prove detrimental to users and affect the well-being of the population. In this paper, we empirically examine the importance of leakage of government resources in the health sector in Chad and its effects on medication mark-up. We make use of data collected in Chad as part of a Health Facilities Survey organized by the World Bank in 2004. The survey covers 281 primary health care centers and hospitals and contains information on the provision of medical material, financial resources and medication allocated by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to the regional administration and primary health centers. While the regional administration is officially allocated 60% of the MoH’s non-wage recurrent expenditures, the share of the resources that actually reach the regions is estimated to be 18%. The health centers, which are the frontline providers and the entry point for the population, receive less than 1% of the MoH’s non-wage recurrent expenditures. Accounting for the endogeneity of the level of competition among health centers, we observe that leakage of government resources has a significant and negative impact on the mark-up health centers charge patients on drugs sales. Furthermore, it is estimated that had public resources earmarked for frontline providers reached them in their entirety, the number of patients seeking primary health care in Chad would have more than doubled.
    Keywords: Corruption, public expenditure, primary health care
    JEL: H51 K49
    Date: 2008–02–01

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