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

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Author Info

  • Aakvik, Arild

    ()
    (University of Bergen, Department of Economics)

  • Holmås, Tor Helge

    ()
    (University of Bergen, Department of Economics and Programme for Health Economics (HEB))

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 2001. 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. Unemployment, which has been an important determinant of mortality in many studies, is found to have no effect on health outcomes in our data. We also 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. 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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Bergen, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 06/04.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 10 Feb 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:bergec:2004_006

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Postal: Institutt for økonomi, Universitetet i Bergen, Postboks 7802, 5020 Bergen, Norway
Phone: (+47)55589200
Fax: (+47)55589210
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Web page: http://www.uib.no/econ/en
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Keywords: general practitioners; mortality rates; municipalities; fixed-effect models; mortality; morbidity;

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  1. Lindeboom, Maarten & Portrait, France & van den Berg, Gerard J., 2003. "Individual Mortality and Macro-Economic Conditions from Birth to Death," IZA Discussion Papers 930, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Kemna, Harrie J. M. I., 1987. "Working conditions and the relationship between schooling and health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 189-210, September.
  3. John Geweke & Gautam Gowrisankaran & Robert J. Town, 2003. "Bayesian Inference for Hospital Quality in a Selection Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(4), pages 1215-1238, 07.
  4. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," NBER Working Papers 5570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 2001. "Mortality, Income, and Income Inequality Over Time in Britain and the United States," NBER Working Papers 8534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Forbes, John F. & McGregor, Alan, 1984. "Unemployment and mortality in post-war Scotland," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 239-257, December.
  7. Michael Greenstone & Kenneth Y. Chay, 2000. "The Convergence in Black-White Infant Mortality Rates during the 1960's," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 326-332, May.
  8. Gravelle, Hugh S. E., 1984. "Time series analysis of mortality and unemployment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 297-305, December.
  9. 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.
  10. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2003. "Good times make you sick," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 637-658, July.
  11. 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.
  12. Cutler, David M, 1995. "The Incidence of Adverse Medical Outcomes under Prospective Payment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 29-50, January.
  13. Paul van den Noord & Terje Hagen & Tor Iversen, 1998. "The Norwegian Health Care System," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 198, OECD Publishing.
  14. John Robst, 2001. "A note on the relationship between medical care resources and mortality," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(11), pages 737-739.
  15. 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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