nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2011‒08‒22
nine papers chosen by
Yong Yin
SUNY at Buffalo, USA

  1. Health, Taxes, and Growth By Liutang Gong; Hongyi Li; Dihai Wang; Heng-fu Zou
  2. Disentangling spillover effects of antibiotic consumption: a spatial panel approach By Laura González; Giuliano Masiero
  3. Vitality heterogeneity in the Strehler-Mildvan theory of mortality By Peter Wagner
  4. Health and Economic Development: Evidence from the Introduction of Public Health By Strittmatter, Anthony; Sunde, Uwe
  5. The Long-Term Effects of the Chernobyl Catastrophe on Subjective Well-Being and Mental Health By Danzer, Alexander M.; Danzer (née Weisshaar), Natalia
  6. The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Child Health Outcomes and Abandonment. Evidence from Romania By Mitrut, Andreea; Wolff, Francois-Charles
  7. Performance Pay and Information: Reducing Child Malnutrition in Urban Slums By Singh, Prakarsh
  8. Life Expectancy and Schooling: New Insights from Cross-Country Data By Hazan, Moshe
  9. Getting Progress Right: Measuring Progress Towards the MDGs Against Historical Trends By Stephan Klasen; Simon Lange

  1. By: Liutang Gong (Guanghua School of Management, Peking University); Hongyi Li (BA Faculty, Chinese University of Hong Kong); Dihai Wang (School of Economics, Fudan University); Heng-fu Zou (CEMA, Central University, China; School of Advanced Study (SAS), Shenzhen University, China; IAS, Wuhan University, China; Guanghua School of Management, Peking University, China)
    Abstract: This paper studies capital accumulation and consumption in the traditional Ramsey model under an exogenous growth framework. The model has three important features: (1) treating health as a simple function of consumption, which enable the study of health and growth in an aggregate macroeconomic model; (2) the existence of multiple equilibria of capital stock, health, and consumption, which is more consistent with the real world situation-rich countries may end up with high capital, better health, and higher consumption than poor countries; (3) the fundamental proposition of a consumption tax instead of capital taxation from the traditional growth model does not hold anymore in our model. As long as consumption goods contribute to health formation, the issue of a consumption tax versus an income (or capital) tax should be re-examined.
    Keywords: Health, Capital accumulation, Taxation
    JEL: H0 I1 O3 O4
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Laura González (Department of Economics, University of Lugano, Switzerland); Giuliano Masiero (Department of Economics and Technology Management, University of Bergamo, Italy)
    Abstract: Literature on socioeconomic determinants of antibiotic consumption in the community is limited to few countries using cross-sectional data. This paper analyses regional variations in outpatient antibiotics in Italy using a balanced panel dataset covering the period 2000-2008. We specify an econometric model where antibiotic consumption depends upon demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the population, the supply of health care services in the community, and antibiotic copayments. The model is estimated by means of Ordinary least squares techniques with fixed effects (FE). The implications of consumption externalities across geographical areas are investigated by means of spatial-lag and spatial-error models (SLFE and SEFE). We find significant and positive income elasticity and negative effects of copayments. Antibiotic use is also affected by the age structure of the population and the supply of community health care. Finally, we find evidence of spatial dependency in the use of antibiotics across regions. This suggests that regional policies (e.g. public campaigns) aimed at increasing efficiency in antibiotic consumption and controlling bacterial resistance may be influenced by policy makers in neighbouring regions. There will be scope for a strategic and coordinated view of regional policies towards the use of antibiotics.
    Keywords: Antibiotic consumption, Socioeconomic inequalities, Spatial dependency, Regional policies.
    JEL: I0 C3
    Date: 2011–08
  3. By: Peter Wagner (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: -
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2011–08
  4. By: Strittmatter, Anthony (University of Freiburg); Sunde, Uwe (University of St. Gallen)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the causal effect of changes in health on economic development using a long panel of European countries. Identification is based on the particular timing of the introduction of public health care systems in different countries, which is the random outcome of a political process. We document that the introduction of public health care systems had a significant immediate effect on the dynamics of infant mortality and crude death rates. The findings suggest that a reduction in infant mortality or crude death rates exhibited a positive effect on growth in income per capita and increased population growth.
    Keywords: mortality, economic development, growth, public health care
    JEL: I10 J10 O11 N13
    Date: 2011–08
  5. By: Danzer, Alexander M. (University of Munich); Danzer (née Weisshaar), Natalia (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)
    Abstract: This paper assesses the long-term subjective well-being and mental health toll of the Chernobyl disaster of 1986 in the general Ukrainian population and estimates the monetary differential necessary to compensate victims of the catastrophe. The analysis is based on two nationally representative Ukrainian data sets and reveals that even 20 years after the accident subjective well-being is negatively associated with self-reported assessments of having been affected by the catastrophe. The causal long-term effect of the disaster on life satisfaction is established by exploiting variation in official radiation data which are linked to survey respondents through information on their place of living in 1986. We find higher depression and trauma rates as well as poorer subjective life expectancy among those stronger affected by Chernobyl. Expressed in monetary terms, the estimated amount of income required to compensate for the experienced utility loss amounts to an annual cost of seven percent of Ukraine's GDP.
    Keywords: Chernobyl catastrophe, subjective well-being, mental health, instrumental variable
    JEL: D60 I18 I31 J28
    Date: 2011–08
  6. By: Mitrut, Andreea (Dept of Economics, Uppsala University and UCLS, Uppsala Center for Labor Studies; Dept of Economics, University of Gothenburg; Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies); Wolff, Francois-Charles (LEMNA, Université de Nantes, France; CNAV and INED, Paris, France)
    Abstract: We use household survey data and a unique census of institutionalized children to analyze the impact of abortion legalization in Romania. We exploit the lift of the abortion ban in December 1989, when communist dictator Ceausescu and his regime were removed from power, to understand its impact on childrens health at birth and during early childhood and whether the lift of the ban had an immediate impact on child abandonment. We find insignificant estimates for health at birth outcomes and anthropometric z-scores at age 4 and 5, except for the probability of low birth weight which is slightly higher for children born after abortion became legal. Additionally, our findings suggest that the lift of the ban had decreased the number of abandoned children.<p>
    Keywords: abortion; health; anthropometric outcomes; child abandonment; Romania
    JEL: I12 J13
    Date: 2011–08–09
  7. By: Singh, Prakarsh
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence for the effectiveness of performance pay to government workers and how performance pay interacts with demand-side information. In an experiment covering 145 child day-care centres, I implement three separate treatments. First, I engineer an exogenous change in compensation for childcare workers from fixed wages to performance pay. Second, I only provide mothers with information without incentivizing the workers. Third, I combine the first two treatments. This helps us identify if performance pay and public information are complements or substitutes in reducing child malnutrition. I find that combining incentives to workers and information to mothers reduces weight-for-age malnutrition by 4.2% in 3 months, although individually the effects are negligible. This complementarity is shown to be driven by better mother-worker communication and the mother feeding more calorific food at home. There is also a sustained long-run positive impact of the combined treatment after the experiment concluded.
    Keywords: Performance pay; Child malnutrition; Public health; Information; Complementarity; Nutrition; Public sector; Urban slums
    JEL: J13 I12 H41 M52 L38 D12 H75 I18 I38 D61 J33
    Date: 2011–07
  8. By: Hazan, Moshe
    Abstract: I argue that distinguishing between life expectancy at birth and life expectancy beyond the crucial early childhood years affects the relationship between life expectancy and schooling in a meaningful way. In particular, I show that while the change in life expectancy at birth between 1960 and 1990 is positively correlated with percentage change in schooling, the change in life expectancy at age 5 is, at best, uncorrelated with percentage change in schooling. This evidence weakens the quantitative importance of increasing life horizon beyond the early crucial childhood years for formal acquisition of human capital.
    Keywords: Human Capital; Life expectancy
    JEL: J24 O11
    Date: 2011–08
  9. By: Stephan Klasen (Georg-August-University Göttingen); Simon Lange (Georg-August-University Göttingen)
    Abstract: Most numerical targets within the framework of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are overly ambitious for the poorest countries when interpreted as country-specic goals. As a consequence, the current system undermines accountability and ownership and jeopardizes the public support the MDGs have drawn in the past. This paper proposes an alternative approach to evaluating progress towards non-income MDGs that allows a sensible appraisal of countries' progress. We first estimate transition paths towards high levels of achievement for four MDG indicators (under-five mortality, primary completion, and gender equality in education). In line with previous empirical work, we find that the sigmoid-shaped transition path captures several features of past transition episodes. Accounting only for initial levels and time elapsed, our models explain up to 80 percent of the within-country variation in the data depending on the indicator considered. Estimated transition paths are then used to project progress towards low levels of under-five mortality since 1990. Comparing actual with projected progress allows us to identify over- and underachievers based on realistic expectations. For example, we find that while some countries in Sub-Sahara Africa have in fact shown considerable performance towards low levels of under-five mortality, the bulk of the the countries in that region is still lagging behind. Finally, we provide some preliminary regression results.
    Keywords: millennium development goals; human development; mortality transition; education transition
    Date: 2011–08–12

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