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Who pays for health care in Asia?

  • O'Donnell, Owen
  • van Doorslaer, Eddy
  • Rannan-Eliya, Ravi P.
  • Somanathan, Aparnaa
  • Adhikari, Shiva Raj
  • Akkazieva, Baktygul
  • Harbianto, Deni
  • Garg, Charu C.
  • Hanvoravongchai, Piya
  • Herrin, Alejandro N.
  • Huq, Mohammed N.
  • Ibragimova, Shamsia
  • Karan, Anup
  • Kwon, Soon-man
  • Leung, Gabriel M.
  • Lu, Jui-fen Rachel
  • Ohkusa, Yasushi
  • Pande, Badri Raj
  • Racelis, Rachel
  • Tin, Keith
  • Tisayaticom, Kanjana
  • Trisnantoro, Laksono
  • Wan, Quan
  • Yang, Bong-Min
  • Zhao, Yuxin

We estimate the distributional incidence of health care financing in 13 Asian territories that account for 55% of the Asian population. In all territories, higher-income households contribute more to the financing of health care. The better-off contribute more as a proportion of ability to pay in most low- and lower-middle-income territories. Health care financing is slightly regressive in three high-income economies with universal social insurance. Direct taxation is the most progressive source of finance and is most so in poorer economies. In universal systems, social insurance is proportional to regressive. In high-income economies, the out-of-pocket (OOP) payments are proportional or regressive while in low-income economies the better-off spend relatively more OOP. But in most low-/middle-income countries, the better-off not only pay more, they also get more health care.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 27 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 460-475

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:27:y:2008:i:2:p:460-475
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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  1. Lerman, Robert I. & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1989. "Improving the accuracy of estimates of Gini coefficients," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 43-47, September.
  2. Owen O'Donnell & Eddy van Doorslaer & Ravi P. Rannan-Eliya & Aparnaa Somanathan & Shiva Raj Adhikari & Deni Harbianto & Charu C. Garg & Piya Hanvoravongchai & Mohammed N. Huq & Anup Karan & Gabriel M., 2007. "The Incidence of Public Spending on Healthcare: Comparative Evidence from Asia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(1), pages 93-123.
  3. Suits, Daniel B, 1977. "Measurement of Tax Progressivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 747-52, September.
  4. Mocan, H. Naci & Tekin, Erdal & Zax, Jeffrey S., 2004. "The Demand for Medical Care in Urban China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 289-304, February.
  5. Eddy van Doorslaer, 2007. "Paying Out-of-Pocket for Health Care in Asia: Catastrophic and Poverty Impact," Working Papers id:823, eSocialSciences.
  6. van Doorslaer, Eddy & Wagstaff, Adam & van der Burg, Hattem & Christiansen, Terkel & De Graeve, Diana & Duchesne, Inge & Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Gerfin, Michael & Geurts, Jose & Gross, Lorna, 2000. "Equity in the delivery of health care in Europe and the US," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 553-583, September.
  7. van Doorslaer, Eddy & Wagstaff, Adam & van der Burg, Hattem & Christiansen, Terkel & Citoni, Guido & Di Biase, Rita & Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Gerfin, Mike & Gross, Lorna & Hakinnen, Unto, 1999. "The redistributive effect of health care finance in twelve OECD countries," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 291-313, June.
  8. Eddy van Doorslaer & Owen O'Donnell & Ravindra P. Rannan-Eliya & Aparnaa Somanathan & Shiva Raj Adhikari & Charu C. Garg & Deni Harbianto & Alejandro N. Herrin & Mohammed Nazmul Huq & Shamsia Ibragimo, 2007. "Catastrophic payments for health care in Asia," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(11), pages 1159-1184.
  9. Lu, Jui-fen R. & Leung, Gabriel M. & Kwon, Soonman & Tin, Keith Y.K. & Van Doorslaer, Eddy & O'Donnell, Owen, 2007. "Horizontal equity in health care utilization evidence from three high-income Asian economies," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 199-212, January.
  10. 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.
  11. Pannarunothai, Supasit & Mills, Anne, 1997. "The poor pay more: Health-related inequality in Thailand," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 44(12), pages 1781-1790, June.
  12. Aronson, J Richard & Johnson, Paul & Lambert, Peter J, 1994. "Redistributive Effects and Unequal Income Tax Treatment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(423), pages 262-70, March.
  13. Wagstaff, Adam & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 1992. "Equity in the finance of health care: Some international comparisons," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 361-387, December.
  14. Kakwani, Nanok C, 1977. "Measurement of Tax Progressivity: An International Comparison," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(345), pages 71-80, March.
  15. Wagstaff, Adam & van Doorslaer, Eddy & van der Burg, Hattem & Calonge, Samuel & Christiansen, Terkel & Citoni, Guido & Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Gerfin, Mike & Gross, Lorna & Hakinnen, Unto, 1999. "Equity in the finance of health care: some further international comparisons1," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 263-290, June.
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