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Waiting times and socioeconomic status among elderly Europeans: evidence from SHARE

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  • Luigi Siciliani
  • Rossella Verzulli

    (Department of Economics, Business and Statistics, University of Milan, Milan, Italy)

Abstract

Waiting times for specialist consultation and non-emergency surgery are often considered an equitable rationing mechanism in the public healthcare sector, because access to care is not based on socioeconomic status. This study tests empirically this claim using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). The sample includes nine European countries: Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. For specialist consultation, we find that individuals with high education experience a reduction in waiting times of 68% in Spain, 67% in Italy and 34% in France (compared with individuals with low education). Individuals with intermediate education report a waiting-time reduction of 74% in Greece (compared with individuals with low education). There is also evidence of a negative and significant association between education and waiting times for non-emergency surgery in Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden. High education reduces waits by 66, 32 and 48%, respectively. We also find income effects, although generally modest. An increase in income of 10 000 Euro reduces waiting times for specialist consultation by 8% in Germany and waiting times for non-emergency surgery by 26% in Greece. Surprisingly, an increase in income of 10 000 Euro increases waits by 11% in Sweden. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Luigi Siciliani & Rossella Verzulli, 2009. "Waiting times and socioeconomic status among elderly Europeans: evidence from SHARE," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(11), pages 1295-1306.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:18:y:2009:i:11:p:1295-1306
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.1429
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.1429
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Laudicella, Mauro & Siciliani, Luigi & Cookson, Richard, 2012. "Waiting times and socioeconomic status: Evidence from England," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(9), pages 1331-1341.
    2. Carlsen, Fredrik & Kaarboe, Oddvar Martin, 2015. "The relationship between educational attainment and waiting time among the elderly in Norway," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 119(11), pages 1450-1458.
    3. Rodríguez-Álvarez, Ana & Rosete-Rivero, Mayte, 2017. "Spanish public hospital waiting lists: A theoretical and empirical approach," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 11, pages 1-21.
    4. Kristian Bolin & Daniel Hedblom & Anna Lindgren & Bjorn Lindgren, 2010. "Asymmetric Information and the Demand for Voluntary Health Insurance in Europe," NBER Working Papers 15689, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Carlsen, Fredrik & Kaarboe, Oddvar M., 2010. "Norwegian priority guidelines: Estimating the distributional implications across age, gender and SES," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 95(2-3), pages 264-270, May.
    6. Luigi Siciliani & Tor Iversen, 2012. "Waiting Times and Waiting Lists," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Health Economics, Second Edition, chapter 24 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Sharma, Anurag & Siciliani, Luigi & Harris, Anthony, 2013. "Waiting times and socioeconomic status: Does sample selection matter?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 659-667.
    8. Kornai, János, 2010. "Hiánygazdaság - többletgazdaság. Tanulmány a piac elméletéről - II. rész
      [Shortage economy - surplus economy. A study on market theory II]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(12), pages 1021-1044.
    9. Oddvar Kaarboe & Fredrik Carlsen, 2014. "Waiting Times And Socioeconomic Status. Evidence From Norway," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(1), pages 93-107, January.
    10. Silviya Nikolova & Arthur Sinko & Matt Sutton, 2015. "Do maximum waiting time guarantees change clinical priorities for elective treatment? Evidence from Scotland," Working Papers 1501, Academic Unit of Health Economics, Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds.
    11. Viberg, Nina & Forsberg, Birger C. & Borowitz, Michael & Molin, Roger, 2013. "International comparisons of waiting times in health care – Limitations and prospects," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 53-61.
    12. Kathrin Roll & Tom Stargardt & Jonas Schreyögg, 2012. "Effect of Type of Insurance and Income on Waiting Time for Outpatient Care," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 37(4), pages 609-632, October.
    13. Meliyanni Johar & Elizabeth Savage & Olena Stavrunova & Glenn Jones & Michael Keane, 2012. "Geographic Differences in Hospital Waiting Times," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 88(281), pages 165-181, June.
    14. Marlies Ahlert & Christian Pfarr, 2016. "Attitudes of Germans towards distributive issues in the German health system," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 17(4), pages 471-496, May.
    15. Johar, Meliyanni & Jones, Glenn & Keane, Micheal P. & Savage, Elizabeth & Stavrunova, Olena, 2013. "Discrimination in a universal health system: Explaining socioeconomic waiting time gaps," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 181-194.
    16. Johar, Meliyanni & Jones, Glenn & Keane, Micheal P. & Savage, Elizabeth & Stavrunova, Olena, 2013. "Discrimination in a universal health system: Explaining socioeconomic waiting time gaps," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 181-194.

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