An analysis of health expenditure on a microdata population basis
The objective of this paper is to analyse the hospitalisation and the pharmaceutical expenditures of a population. To do so, we will use cross-sectional information for the year 2004, referring to the whole population of one of the seventeen autonomous communities that make up the Spanish public health system, namely, Aragón. Given the important proportion of null expenditures, a model that takes into account the censored nature of the data must be specified. In our case, the model we choose is Heckman's (1979) selection model. The results are conclusive. i) Age, being a pensioner and being of Spanish nationality positively influence the generation of both types of expenditure; ii) on the contrary, the distance from the health centre to the hospital affects them negatively; iii) sex notably influences the generation of both types of expenditure, women generating higher level of expenditures; iv), in both cases, significant differences appear associated with the zone to which the user belongs; and v) we have also found that pharmaceutical expenditure depends significantly on the doctor who is prescribing.
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