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Public spending on health care and the poor

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  • Sanjeev Gupta

    (Fiscal Affairs Department, International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC, USA)

  • Marijn Verhoeven

    (Fiscal Affairs Department, International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC, USA)

  • Erwin R. Tiongson

    (Fiscal Affairs Department, International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC, USA)

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    Abstract

    This paper uses new cross-country data to assess the relationship between public spending on health care and the health status of the poor. Data are drawn from two sources: (i) existing data on health status by income quintile tabulated from demographic health surveys in 44 countries; and (ii) our estimates of the health status of the poor in over 70 countries drawn from a new technique in decomposing social indicators. Our estimates confirm that the poor have significantly worse health status than the nonpoor and the regression results provide new evidence that public spending on health care matters more to them. However, the results suggest that increased public spending alone will not be sufficient to significantly improve health status. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

    Volume (Year): 12 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 8 ()
    Pages: 685-696

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:12:y:2003:i:8:p:685-696

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    Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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    1. Wagstaff, Adam & Watanabe, Naoko, 2000. "Socioeconomic inequalities in child malnutrition in the developing world," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2434, The World Bank.
    2. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1998. "New ways of looking at old issues: inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 259-287.
    3. Chu, K.-y. & Davoodi, H. & Gupta, S., 2000. "Income Distribution and Tax, and Government Social Spending Policies in Developing Countries," Research Paper, World Institute for Development Economics Research 214, World Institute for Development Economics Research.
    4. Bidani, Benu & Ravallion, Martin, 1995. "Decomposing social indicators using distributional data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1487, The World Bank.
    5. Ravallion, Martin, 1996. "How Well Can Method Substitute for Data? Five Experiments in Poverty Analysis," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 11(2), pages 199-221, August.
    6. Ravallion, Martin & Shaohua Chen, 1996. "What can new survey data tell us about recent changes in distribution and poverty?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1694, The World Bank.
    7. Filmer, Deon & Pritchett, Lant, 1999. "The impact of public spending on health: does money matter?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 49(10), pages 1309-1323, November.
    8. Kakwani, N., 1993. "Performance in living standards : An international comparison," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 307-336, August.
    9. Schultz, T.P., 1993. "Mortality Decline in the Low Income World: Causes and Consequences," Papers, Yale - Economic Growth Center 681, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    10. Stanton, Bonita, 1994. "Child health: Equity in the non-industrialized countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1375-1383, May.
    11. Gupta, Sanjeev & Verhoeven, Marijn, 2001. "The efficiency of government expenditure: experiences from Africa," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 433-467, May.
    12. Ke-young Chu & Hamid Reza Davoodi & Sanjeev Gupta, 2000. "Income Distribution and Tax and Government Social Spending Policies in Developing Countries," IMF Working Papers 00/62, International Monetary Fund.
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