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Gender gap in parents' financing strategy for hospitalization of their children: evidence from India

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  • Abay Asfaw

    (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Washington, DC, USA)

  • Francesca Lamanna
  • Stephan Klasen

Abstract

The 'missing women' dilemma in India has sparked great interest in investigating gender discrimination in the provision of health care in the country. No studies, however, have directly examined discrimination in health-care financing strategies in the case of severe illness of sons versus daughters. In this paper, we hypothesize that households who face tight budget constraints are more likely to spend their meager resources on hospitalization of boys rather than girls. We use the 60th round of the Indian National Sample Survey (2004) and a multinomial logit model to test this hypothesis and to throw some light on this important but overlooked issue. The results reveal that boys are much more likely to be hospitalized than girls. When it comes to financing, the gap in the usage of household income and savings is relatively small, while the gender gap in the probability of hospitalization and usage of more onerous financing strategies is very high. Ceteris paribus, the probability of boys to be hospitalized by financing from borrowing, sale of assets, help from friends, etc. is much higher than that of girls. Moreover, in line with our theoretical framework, the results indicate that the gender gap intensifies as we move from the richest to poorest households. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.1468
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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 19 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 265-279

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:19:y:2010:i:3:p:265-279

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

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  1. Klasen, Stephan, 1994. ""Missing women" reconsidered," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(7), pages 1061-1071, July.
  2. Monica Das Gupta & Jiang Zhenghua & Li Bohua & Xie Zhenming & Woojin Chung & Bae Hwa-Ok, 2003. "Why is Son preference so persistent in East and South Asia? a cross-country study of China, India and the Republic of Korea," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(2), pages 153-187.
  3. Jeffrey J. Rous & David R. Hotchkiss, 2003. "Estimation of the determinants of household health care expenditures in Nepal with controls for endogenous illness and provider choice," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(6), pages 431-451.
  4. Fred Arnold & Sunita Kishor & T. K. Roy, 2002. "Sex-Selective Abortions in India," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(4), pages 759-785.
  5. John S. Akin & David K. Guilkey & Paul L. Hutchinson & Michael T. Mcintosh, 1998. "Price elasticities of demand for curative health care with control for sample selectivity on endogenous illness: an analysis for Sri Lanka," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(6), pages 509-531.
  6. Pokhrel, Subhash, 2007. "Determinants of parental reports of children's illnesses: Empirical evidence from Nepal," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(6), pages 1106-1117, September.
  7. G. Hazarika, 2000. "Gender Differences in Children's Nutrition and Access to Health Care in Pakistan," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(1), pages 73-92.
  8. Lata Gangadharan & Pushkar Maitra, 2000. "Does Child Mortality Reflect Gender Bias? Evidence from Pakistan," Indian Economic Review, Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, vol. 35(2), pages 113-131, July.
  9. Stephan Klasen & Claudia Wink, 2003. ""Missing Women": Revisiting The Debate," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2-3), pages 263-299.
  10. Jayawardene, Ruwani, 1993. "Illness perception: Social cost and coping-strategies of malaria cases," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1169-1176, November.
  11. Monica Das Gupta, 2005. "Explaining Asia's "Missing Women": A New Look at the Data," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 31(3), pages 529-535.
  12. Sauerborn, R. & Adams, A. & Hien, M., 1996. "Household strategies to cope with the economic costs of illness," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 291-301, August.
  13. Van de Ven, Wynand P. M. M. & Van Praag, Bernard M. S., 1981. "The demand for deductibles in private health insurance : A probit model with sample selection," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 229-252, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Kelly Jones, 2014. "Growing Up Together: Cohort Composition and Child Investment," Demography, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 229-255, February.
  2. Scott South & Katherine Trent & Sunita Bose, 2012. "India’s ‘Missing Women’ and Men’s Sexual Risk Behavior," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 31(6), pages 777-795, December.

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