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Economics of self-medication: theory and evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Fwu-Ranq Chang

    (Department of Economics, Wylie Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA)

  • Pravin K. Trivedi

    (Department of Economics, Wylie Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA)

Abstract

A pervasive phenomenon in developing countries is that self-prescribed medications are purchased from drug vendors without professional supervision. In this article we develop a model of self-medicating behavior of a utility-maximizing consumer who balances the benefits and risks of self-medication. The empirical investigation focuses on the role of income and health insurance on the use of self-medication. Our data are from the World Bank's Living Standards Measurement Survey of Vietnam, 1997-1998. The results show that self-medication is an inferior good at high income levels and a normal good at low income levels, and it shows a strong and robust negative insurance effect. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Fwu-Ranq Chang & Pravin K. Trivedi, 2003. "Economics of self-medication: theory and evidence," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(9), pages 721-739.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:12:y:2003:i:9:p:721-739
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.841
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
    2. A. C. Cameron & P. K. Trivedi & Frank Milne & J. Piggott, 1988. "A Microeconometric Model of the Demand for Health Care and Health Insurance in Australia," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 85-106.
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    Cited by:

    1. Faden, Laura & Vialle-Valentin, Catherine & Ross-Degnan, Dennis & Wagner, Anita, 2011. "Active pharmaceutical management strategies of health insurance systems to improve cost-effective use of medicines in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review of current evidence," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 134-143.
    2. 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.
    3. Alice Sanwald & Engelbert Theurl, 2017. "Out-of-pocket expenditures for pharmaceuticals: lessons from the Austrian household budget survey," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 18(4), pages 435-447, May.
    4. Wisdom Akpalu & Ametefee K. Normanyo, 2016. "Gold mining pollution and the cost of private healthcare: The case of Ghana," WIDER Working Paper Series 121, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. Hoai, Nguyen Trong & Dang, Thang, 2016. "The Determinants of self-medication: evidence from urban Vietnam," MPRA Paper 75358, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Ahmed, Syed Masud & Petzold, Max & Kabir, Zarina Nahar & Tomson, Göran, 2006. "Targeted intervention for the ultra poor in rural Bangladesh: Does it make any difference in their health-seeking behaviour?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(11), pages 2899-2911, December.
    7. Pagan, Jose A. & Ross, Sara & Yau, Jeffrey & Polsky, Daniel, 2006. "Self-medication and health insurance coverage in Mexico," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 170-177, January.
    8. Trivedi, Pravin K., 2002. "Patterns of health care utilization in Vietnam : analysis of 1997-98 Vietnam Living Standards Survey Data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2775, The World Bank.
    9. Indunil De Silva & Sudarno Sumarto, 2015. "Dynamics Of Growth, Poverty And Human Capital: Evidence From Indonesian Sub-National Data," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 40(2), pages 1-33, June.
    10. Pablo Gottret & George J. Schieber & Hugh R. Waters, 2008. "Good Practices in Health Financing : Lessons from Reforms in Low and Middle-Income Countries," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6442.
    11. Sepehri, Ardeshir & Sarma, Sisira & Oguzoglu, Umut, 2011. "Does the financial protection of health insurance vary across providers? Vietnam's experience," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(4), pages 559-567, August.
    12. Edgeworth, Ross & Collins, Andrew E., 2006. "Self-care as a response to diarrhoea in rural Bangladesh: Empowered choice or enforced adoption?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(10), pages 2686-2697, November.
    13. Ha Trong Nguyen & Luke B Connelly, 2017. "Cost-sharing in health insurance and its impact in a developing country: evidence from a quasi-natural experiment," Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre Working Paper series WP1702, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School.
    14. Martine Visser & Frikkie Booysen, 2004. "Determinants of the choice of health care facility utilised by individuals in HIV/AIDS-affected households in the Free State province of South Africa," SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers 087, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    15. Partha Deb & Pravin K. Trivedi, 2012. "Empirical Models of Health Care Use," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Health Economics, Second Edition, chapter 14 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    16. repec:asi:ajoerj:2013:p:738-751 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:eee:ecolec:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:104-112 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Eddy van Doorslaer, 2007. "Paying Out-of-Pocket for Health Care in Asia: Catastrophic and Poverty Impact," Working Papers id:823, eSocialSciences.
    19. Midori Matsushima & Hiroyuki Yamada, 2013. "Public Health Insurance in Vietnam towards Universal Coverage: Identifying the challenges, issues, and problems in its design and organizational practices," OSIPP Discussion Paper 13E003, Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University.
    20. Sumarto, Sudarno & De Silva, Indunil, 2014. "Being Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Dynamics of Indonesian Subnational Growth and Poverty," MPRA Paper 57824, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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