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Cross-country disparities in health-care expenditure: a factor decomposition

Author

Listed:
  • Jorge Alcalde-Unzu

    (Department of Applied Economics IV, Universidad del País Vasco, Spain)

  • Roberto Ezcurra

    (Department of Economics, Universidad Pública de Navarra, Spain)

  • Pedro Pascual

    (Department of Economics, Universidad Pública de Navarra, Spain)

Abstract

This note investigates the sources of international differences in the levels of per capita health-care expenditure, using data on the OECD countries between 1975 and 2003. To that end, we use Theil's second measure of inequality for decomposing cross-country disparities in per capita health-care expenditure into the contributions of various factors: health-care expenditure expressed as a share of GDP, labour productivity, employment rate, activity rate and the ratio of working-age population to total population. Our results show that cross-country differences in the share of GDP devoted to health-care expenditure and labour productivity are the main determinants of the level of dispersion in per capita health-care expenditure. On the contrary, existing disparities in the remaining explanatory factors considered play a less relevant role in this context. In any event, the analysis performed reveals that the overall inequality in per capita health-care expenditure decreased throughout the study period. This was due to the process of international convergence observed in most of the factors used to break down the level of per capita health-care expenditure. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Jorge Alcalde-Unzu & Roberto Ezcurra & Pedro Pascual, 2009. "Cross-country disparities in health-care expenditure: a factor decomposition," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(4), pages 479-485.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:18:y:2009:i:4:p:479-485
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.1374
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Andrea Leiter & Engelbert Theurl, 2012. "The convergence of health care financing structures: empirical evidence from OECD-countries," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 13(1), pages 7-18, February.
    3. repec:spr:hecrev:v:7:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s13561-017-0164-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Roberto Ezcurra & Belén Iráizoz, 2009. "Spatial inequality in the European Union: does regional efficiency matter?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(4), pages 2648-2655.
    5. Fallahi, Firouz, 2011. "Convergence of Total Health Expenditure as a Share of GDP: Evidence from Selected OECD Countries," MPRA Paper 51324, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Ekaterini Panopoulou & Theologos Pantelidis, 2012. "Convergence in per capita health expenditures and health outcomes in the OECD countries," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(30), pages 3909-3920, October.
    7. Nicholas Apergis & Puja Padhi, 2013. "Health expenses and economic growth: convergence dynamics across the Indian States," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 261-277, December.

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