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The Quality of Health Care: Evidence from Italy


  • Tullio Jappelli

    (CSEF, University of Napoli Federico II and CEPR)

  • Mario Padula

    () (CSEF, University of Salerno)


We provide evidence that the quality of health care affects health outcomes, exploiting the substantial variability in the quality of the Italian public health service. The data are drawn from the 2001 Survey of Health, Aging and Wealth, providing detailed information on health status, and detailed demographic and economic variables for a sample of about 2000 individuals older than 50. The correlation between quality of health care and health outcomes is also confirmed in the panel section of the 1993-95 Bank of Italy Survey of Household Income and Wealth. The Survey contains an individual indicator of the quality of health care services, which allows us to measure the impact of quality on health status controlling explicitly for regional effects. We find that raising the quality of health care from the level of the poorest quality regions to the sample average increases the probability of excellent health outcomes by 1.1 percentage points.

Suggested Citation

  • Tullio Jappelli & Mario Padula, 2003. "The Quality of Health Care: Evidence from Italy," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 62(1), pages 7-34, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:gde:journl:gde_v62_n1_p7-34

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Smith, Richard J & Blundell, Richard W, 1986. "An Exogeneity Test for a Simultaneous Equation Tobit Model with an Application to Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 679-685, May.
    2. Amitabh Chandra & Jonathan Skinner, 2003. "Geography and Racial Health Disparities," NBER Working Papers 9513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. 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.
    4. Raffaele Miniaci & Guglielmo Weber, 2003. "The Wealth Accumulation of Italian Households: Evidence from Shaw," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 62(1), pages 57-91, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri & Guglielmo Weber, 2004. "Health Care Quality and Economic Inequality," CSEF Working Papers 120, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    2. 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.

    More about this item


    health status; health quality and wealth;

    JEL classification:

    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies


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