Are User Fees Regressive? The Welfare Implications of Health Care Financing Proposals in Peru
AbstractIn this paper, we derive a discrete choice model of the demand for medical care from a theoretical model that implies a natural interrelation between price and income. We show that, in the context of a discrete choice model, if health is a normal good, then the price elasticity of the demand for health care must decline as income rises. This implies that the models in previous discrete choice studies which restrict the price effect to be independent of income are misspecified. The model is estimated using data from a 1984 Peruvian survey, and a parsimonious flexible functional form. Unlike previous studies, we find that price plays a significant role in the demand for health care, and that demand becomes more elastic as income falls, implying that user fees would reduce the access to care for the poor proportionally more than for the rich. Our simulations show that user fees can generate substantial revenues, but are accompanied by substantial reductions in aggregate consumer welfare, with the burden of the loss on the poor. These results demonstrate that undiscriminating user fees would be regressive both in terms of access and welfare.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2299.
Date of creation: Jun 1987
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of Econometrics, Special Issue on Topics in Development Economics, .36, pp.67-88, 1987.
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Gertler, Paul & Locay, Luis & Sanderson, Warren, 1987. "Are user fees regressive? : The welfare implications of health care financing proposals in Peru," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 67-88.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Dubin, Jeffrey A & McFadden, Daniel L, 1984. "An Econometric Analysis of Residential Electric Appliance Holdings and Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 345-62, March.
- Acton, Jan Paul, 1975. "Nonmonetary Factors in the Demand for Medical Services: Some Empirical Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(3), pages 595-614, June.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.