Public Health Expenditure and Spatial Interactions in a Decentralized National Health System
One of the limitations of cross-country health expenditure analysis refers to the fact that the financing, the internal organization and political restraints of health care decision-making are country-specific and heterogeneous. Yet, a potential solution is to examine the influence of such effects in those countries that have undertaken decentralization processes. In such a setting, it is possible to examine potential expenditure spillovers across the geography of a country as well as the influence of the political ideology of regional incumbents on public health expenditure. This paper examines the determinants of public health expenditure within Spanish region-states (Autonomous Communities, ACs), most of them subject to similar financing structures although exhibiting significant heterogeneity as a result of the increasing decentralization, region specific political factors along with different use of health care inputs, economic dimension and spatial interactions.
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