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Socio-Economic Status and Child Health: Does Public Health Insurance Narrow the Gap?


  • Currie, Janet


Drawing on evidence from the United States, this paper examines the effects of public health insurance on children. Recent expansions of American public health insurance programs to previously ineligible children have created a great deal of variation that can be used to identify their effects. Results indicate that providing public insurance to poor children narrows socioeconomic gaps in utilization and health among children. However, inefficiencies and inequalities in the allocation of health care remain, which suggests that universality and outreach programs are also important components of the public health systems common in Europe. Copyright 1995 by The editors of the Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Currie, Janet, 1995. " Socio-Economic Status and Child Health: Does Public Health Insurance Narrow the Gap?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 603-620, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:97:y:1995:i:4:p:603-20

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    9. Bulow, Jeremy I & Geanakoplos, John D & Klemperer, Paul D, 1985. "Multimarket Oligopoly: Strategic Substitutes and Complements," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(3), pages 488-511, June.
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    11. Reed, W Robert, 1989. "Information in Political Markets: A Little Knowledge Can Be a Dangerous Thing," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 355-374, Fall.
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    Cited by:

    1. Richard Layte & Anne Nolan, 2015. "Eligibility for free GP care and the utilisation of GP services by children in Ireland," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 3-27, March.
    2. Lori Curtis & Martin D. Dooley & Ellen L. Lipman & David H. Feeny, "undated". "The Role of Permanent Income and Family Structure in the Determination of Child Health in the Ontario Child Health Study," Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers 16, McMaster University.
    3. Ekaterina A. Klepikova, 2015. "Estimating the Relationship between Health and Employment of Russian People in Pensionable Age," HSE Working papers WP BRP 100/EC/2015, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    4. Richard Layte & Anne Nolan, 2015. "Income-related inequity in the use of GP services by children: a comparison of Ireland and Scotland," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 16(5), pages 489-506, June.
    5. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile, 2003. "Socioeconomic Status and Child Health: Why Is the Relationship Stronger for Older Children?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1813-1823, December.
    6. Anne Nolan & Richard Layte, 2014. "Socio-economic Inequalities in Child Health in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 45(1), pages 25-64.
    7. Lauri Peterson, 2014. "The Measurement of Non-economic Inequality in Well-Being Indices," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 119(2), pages 581-598, November.
    8. Chen, Chin-Shyan & Liu, Tsai-Ching & Lin, Herng-Ching & Tian, Wei-Hua, 2007. "The effect of Taiwan's National Health Insurance on infants' preventive care use and inpatient care use," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 432-443, March.
    9. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pc:p:3309-3416 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Reis, Mauricio, 2012. "Differences in nutritional outcomes between Brazilian white and black children," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 174-188.
    11. Shao-Hsun Keng & Shin-Yi Wu, 2014. "Living Happily Ever After? The Effect of Taiwan’s National Health Insurance on the Happiness of the Elderly," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 783-808, August.
    12. Layte, Richard & Nolan, Anne, 2013. "Income-Related Inequity in the Use of GP Services: A Comparison of Ireland and Scotland," Papers WP454, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    13. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile, 2002. "Socioeconomic Status and Health: Why is the Relationship Stronger for Older Children?," NBER Working Papers 9098, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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