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The core determinants of health expenditure in the African context: Some econometric evidence for policy

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  • Murthy, Vasudeva N.R.
  • Okunade, Albert A.

Abstract

This paper, using cross-sectional data from 44 (83% of all) African countries for year 2001, presents econometric model estimates linking real per-capita health expenditure (HEXP) to a host of economic and non-economic factors. The empirical results of OLS and robust LAE estimators indicate that real per-capita GDP (PRGDP) and real per-capita foreign aid (FAID) resources are both core and statistically significant correlates of HEXP. Our empirical results suggest that health care in the African context is technically, a necessity rather than a luxury good (for the OECD countries). This suggests that the goal of health system in Africa is primarily 'physiological' or 'curative' rather than 'caring' or 'pampering'. The positive association of HEXP with FAID hints that external resource inflows targeting health could be instrumental for spurring economic progress in good policy environments. Most African countries until the late 1990s experienced economic and political instability, and faced stringent structural adjustment mandates of the major international financial institution lenders for economic development. Therefore, our finding a positive effect of FAID on HEXP could suggest that external resource inflows softened some of the macroeconomic fiscal deficit impacts on HEXP in the 2000s. Policy implications of country-specific elasticity estimates are given.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Health Policy.

Volume (Year): 91 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
Pages: 57-62

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Handle: RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:91:y:2009:i:1:p:57-62

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/healthpol

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Keywords: Health care expenditure African countries Elasticities Econometric model estimators Policy;

References

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Cited by:
  1. Cockx, Lara & Francken, Nathalie, 2014. "Extending the concept of the resource curse : Natural resources and public spending on health," IOB Working Papers 2014.01, Universiteit Antwerpen, Institute of Development Policy and Management (IOB).
  2. Li-Lin Liang & Andrew J Mirelman, 2014. "Why Do Some Countries Spend More for Health? An Assessment of Sociopolitical Determinants and International Aid for Government Health Expenditures," Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) Discussion Paper Series, The World Bank 88182, The World Bank.
  3. Quattri, Maria A. & Fosu, Augustin Kwasi, 2012. "On The Impact Of External Debt And Aid On Public Expenditure Allocation In Sub-Saharan Africa After The Launch Of The Hipc Initiative," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil, International Association of Agricultural Economists 126879, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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