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Who Receives Medical Care?: Income, Implicit Prices, and the Distribution of Medical Services among Pregnant Women in the United States

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  • Mark R. Rosenzweig
  • T. Paul Schultz

Abstract

The distribution of medical services among pregnant married women in the United States in 1980 is very unequal. This distribution is examined to assess the predominant effect of tax, transfer, and insurance schemes on the implicit prices of medical services facing women differing by socioeconomic status, healthiness and race. Estimates of the determinants of the probability of receiving four major prenatal medical services are obtained, controlling both for socioeconomic status and for initial health status, as inferred from estimates of health technology determining birthweight. Results reject the hypotheses that medical services are provided only on the basis of medical need or are allocated in a market in which the implicit price of care is invariant to husband's income. The combined effect of taxes and transfers is found to reduce the implicit price paid for these four medical services by rich compared to poor married women in the United States, and thus to encourage their use by higher income (and education) groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark R. Rosenzweig & T. Paul Schultz, 1991. "Who Receives Medical Care?: Income, Implicit Prices, and the Distribution of Medical Services among Pregnant Women in the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(3), pages 473-508.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:26:y:1991:i:3:p:473-508
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lundberg, Shelly J, 1988. "Labor Supply of Husbands and Wives: A Simultaneous Equations Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 224-235, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Grossman, 1999. "The Human Capital Model of the Demand for Health," NBER Working Papers 7078, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Grimard, Franque & Parent, Daniel, 2007. "Education and smoking: Were Vietnam war draft avoiders also more likely to avoid smoking?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 896-926, September.
    3. Neha Kumra, 2017. "Childhood health and educational investment under risk," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 6(1), pages 1-22, December.
    4. Jennifer Kane & S. Morgan & Kathleen Harris & David Guilkey, 2013. "The Educational Consequences of Teen Childbearing," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(6), pages 2129-2150, December.
    5. Lindelow, Magnus, 2004. "Sometimes more equal than others : how health inequalities depend on the choice of welfare indicator," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3329, The World Bank.
    6. Grossman, Michael, 2004. "The demand for health, 30 years later: a very personal retrospective and prospective reflection," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 629-636, July.
    7. Magnus Lindelow, 2006. "Sometimes more equal than others: how health inequalities depend on the choice of welfare indicator," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(3), pages 263-279.

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