Short and long-term relationship between physician density on infant mortality: a longitudinal econometric analysis
AbstractWhile countries with higher levels of human resources for health typically have better population health, the evidence that increases in the level of human resources for health leads to improvements in population health is limited. We provide estimates of short-run and long-term effects of physician density on infant mortality. We use a dynamic regression model that allows an estimation of both short- and long-run effects of physician density on infant mortality. We also used instrumental variables analysis to identify the causal effect of physician density on health. We estimate that increasing the number of physicians by one per 1,000 population decreases the infant mortality rate by 15% within five years and by 45% in the long-run. We find all countries are moving towards their own steady state at around 3% a year and are only half way there after 15 years. We conclude that the long-run effects of human resources for health are substantially larger than previously estimated. Our results suggest that health sector inputs can play a role in reducing infant mortality. However, meeting the Millennium Development Goal of reducing child mortality rate by two thirds from 1990 to 2015 would have required much earlier action.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Program on the Global Demography of Aging in its series PGDA Working Papers with number 4909.
Date of creation: Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Physician density; infant mortality; longitudinal; eocnometric;
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