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Is Health Care a Luxury? New Evidence from OECD Data

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  • Anindya Sen

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Abstract

Most research using cross-country data find income elasticities equal to or exceeding unity with respect to health expenditure. These conclusions might be confounded due to omitted variables bias and the presence of unobserved country and year specific determinants of per capita health expenditures. I obtain results supporting these hypotheses using recent (1990–98) data from fifteen OECD countries. Specifically, OLS coefficient estimates drop by more than 50% with the use of two-way fixed effects models and the inclusion of various demand and supply based determinants of per capita health expenditures, implying income elasticities of between 0.21 and 0.51. Weighted Least Squares (WLS), Generalized Least Squares (GLS) and Instrumental Variables (IV) estimation yield similar results. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Anindya Sen, 2005. "Is Health Care a Luxury? New Evidence from OECD Data," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 147-164, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:ijhcfe:v:5:y:2005:i:2:p:147-164
    DOI: 10.1007/s10754-005-1866-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Tang, Chor Foon, 2010. "Revisiting the health-income nexus in Malaysia: ARDL cointegration and Rao's F-test for causality," MPRA Paper 27287, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Nadide Sevil Halıcı-Tülüce & İbrahim Doğan & Cüneyt Dumrul, 2016. "Is income relevant for health expenditure and economic growth nexus?," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 23-49, March.
    4. Angulo, Ana María & Barberán, Ramón & Egea, Pilar & Mur, Jesús, 2011. "An analysis of health expenditure on a microdata population basis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 169-180.
    5. Özlem Yorulmaz, 2016. "Can healthcare ever be less than a necessity in MENA countries? A semiparametric estimation of the relationship between healthcare expenditure and GDP," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 1233-1244, May.
    6. Joan Costa-Font & Marin Gemmill & Gloria Rubert, 2008. "Re-visiting the Health Care Luxury Good Hypothesis: Aggregation, Precision, and Publication Biases?," Working Papers in Economics 197, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
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    8. Shailender Kumar Hooda, 2016. "Determinants of Public Expenditure on Health in India: A Panel Data Analysis at Sub-National Level," Journal of Quantitative Economics, Springer;The Indian Econometric Society (TIES), vol. 14(2), pages 257-282, December.
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    11. Po-Chin Wu & Shiao-Yen Liu & Sheng-Chieh Pan, 2014. "Does Misery Index Matter for the Persistence of Health Spending? Evidence from OECD Countries," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 118(2), pages 893-910, September.
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    20. David Prieto & Santiago Lago-Peñas, 2012. "Decomposing the determinants of health care expenditure: the case of Spain," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 13(1), pages 19-27, February.
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    23. Vandersteegen, Tom & Marneffe, Wim & Cleemput, Irina & Vereeck, Lode, 2015. "The impact of no-fault compensation on health care expenditures: An empirical study of OECD countries," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 119(3), pages 367-374.
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