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The Relationship Between Economic Conditions, Access to Health Care, and Health Outcomes

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  • Arild Aakvik

Abstract

This paper analyses the impact of access to health care and economic conditions on health outcomes. Fixed-effects models are estimated using municipality data from 1996 to 2002. Health is proxied by total mortality rates divided into three different causes of death. Access to health care is proxied by number of physicians, and other medical personnel. We find an insignificant effect of per capital number of GPs on mortality. However, the number of vacant positions (unmet demand) in municipalities increases mortality rates significantly. Unemployment, which has been an important determinant of mortality in many studies, is found to have no effect on health outcomes in our data. However, other economic factors, such as the level of spending on health and social policy, has a significant effect on reduced mortality rates. In a policy simulation, we find that mortality rates can be reduced on average by 0.8 per cent by eliminating all (around 500) vacant GP positions

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Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings with number 34.

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Date of creation: 11 Aug 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ecm:ausm04:34

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Keywords: GPs; mortality rates; municipalities; fixed-effect models; mortality; morbidity;

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  1. Hitiris, Theo & Posnett, John, 1992. "The determinants and effects of health expenditure in developed countries," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 173-181, August.
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  8. Lindeboom, Maarten & Portrait, France & van den Berg, Gerard J, 2004. "Individual Mortality and Macroeconomic Conditions from Birth to Death," CEPR Discussion Papers 4200, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. John Robst & Glenn Graham, 1997. "Access to health care and current health status: do physicians matter?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 45-48.
  10. Gravelle, Hugh S. E., 1984. "Time series analysis of mortality and unemployment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 297-305, December.
  11. John Geweke & Gautam Gowrisankaran & Robert J. Town, 2002. "Bayesian inference for hospital quality in a selection model," Working Paper Series 2002-18, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  12. Daniel P. Kessler & Mark B. McClellan, 2000. "Is Hospital Competition Socially Wasteful?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 577-615, May.
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  14. Cutler, D.M., 1992. "The Incidence of Adverse Medical Outcome Under Prospective Payment," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1603, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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