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Health Care Quality and Economic Inequality

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  • Tullio Jappelli

    ()
    (University of Salerno, CSEF and CEPR)

  • Luigi Pistaferri

    ()
    (Stanford University, Hoover Institution and CEPR)

  • Guglielmo Weber

    ()
    (University of Padua, IFS and CEPR)

Abstract

We argue that health care quality has an important impact on economic inequality and on saving behaviour. We exploit district-wide variability in health care quality provided by the Italian universal public health system to identify the effect of quality on income inequality, health inequality and precautionary saving. We find that in lower quality districts there is greater income and health dispersion and higher precautionary saving. The analysis carries important insights for the ongoing debate about the validity of the life-cycle model and interesting policy implications for the design of health care systems.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 120.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2004
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Publication status: Published in Health Economics, April 2007, vol. 16, issue 4, pages 327-346
Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:120

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  1. Behrman, Jere R & Birdsall, Nancy, 1983. "The Quality of Schooling: Quantity Alone is Misleading," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 928-46, December.
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  7. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1992. "Earnings uncertainty and precautionary saving," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 307-337, November.
  8. Orazio P. Attanasio & Agar Brugiavini, 2003. "Social Security And Households' Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1075-1119, August.
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  14. Christopher D. Carroll & Andrew A. Samwick, 1998. "How Important Is Precautionary Saving?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(3), pages 410-419, August.
  15. James P. Smith, 1999. "Healthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 145-166, Spring.
  16. Tullio Jappelli & Mario Padula, 2002. "The Quality of Health Care: Evidence from Italy," CSEF Working Papers 84, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  17. Angus S. Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1998. "Health, Income, and Inequality over the Life Cycle," NBER Chapters, in: Frontiers in the Economics of Aging, pages 431-462 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Palumbo, Michael G, 1999. "Uncertain Medical Expenses and Precautionary Saving Near the End of the Life Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 395-421, April.
  19. Victor R. Fuchs & Mark B. McClellan & Jonathan S. Skinner, 2004. "Area Differences in Utilization of Medical Care and Mortality among U.S. Elderly," NBER Chapters, in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 367-414 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Massimo Baldini & Gilberto Turati, 2012. "Perceived quality of public services, liquidity constraints, and the demand of private specialist care," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 487-511, April.

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