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Convergence of health care spending and health outcomes in the EUropean Union, 1960-95

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  • John Nixon

Abstract

Convergence in health expenditure in the countries of the European Union (EU) has been demonstrated to be occurring in previous studies. The aim of this paper is to identify and discuss the reasons for this finding and to present new evidence confirming convergence in health outcomes, as represented by life expectancy and infant mortality rates. The statistical methods used, s and b-convergence analysis, are well established in macro-economic growth analyses and based on the neo-classical growth model which predicts convergence in income for homogenous countries such as those forming the EU. The analyses reveal a common trend in that Southern Mediterranean countries have generally exhibited upward convergence towards the mean in health expenditure, and convergence towards the EU mean in improving directions for health outcomes. In contrast, EU countries of the North, particularly those of Scandinavia, exhibit downward convergence towards the EU mean or below it in health expenditure, whilst their health outcome measures have generally been displaying a decreasing advantage over the EU mean over the periods of analysis. The results are briefly considered in relation to the factors that help to explain the results, including the question of whether a causal relationship between health expenditure and health outcomes exists, the nature and impact of health care reforms throughout the 1970s, 80s and 90s in countries contributing most to the observed convergence, and the predictions of the neoclassical growth model which underpin the results.

Suggested Citation

  • John Nixon, 2000. "Convergence of health care spending and health outcomes in the EUropean Union, 1960-95," Working Papers 183chedp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:chy:respap:183chedp
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    File URL: http://www.york.ac.uk/media/che/documents/papers/discussionpapers/CHE%20Discussion%20Paper%20183.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2000
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bernard, Andrew B. & Durlauf, Steven N., 1996. "Interpreting tests of the convergence hypothesis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1-2), pages 161-173.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. André, Christine, 2015. "Les systèmes de santé européens en longue période," Revue de la Régulation - Capitalisme, institutions, pouvoirs, Association Recherche et Régulation, vol. 17.
    2. Lau, Marco Chi Keung & Fung, Ka Wai Terence, 2013. "Convergence in Health Care Expenditure of 14 EU Countries: New Evidence from Non-linear Panel Unit Root Test," MPRA Paper 52871, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Lena Maleševic Perovic & Silvia Golem & Maja Mihaljevic Kosor, 2016. "Convergence in Government Spending Components in EU15: A Spatial Econometric Perspective," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 18(42), pages 240-240, May.
    4. José Villaverde & Adolfo Maza & María Hierro, 2014. "Health care expenditure disparities in the European Union and underlying factors: a distribution dynamics approach," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 251-268, September.
    5. Wen-Yi Chen, 2013. "Does healthcare financing converge? Evidence from eight OECD countries," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 279-300, December.
    6. 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.
    7. Reibling, Nadine, 2013. "The international performance of healthcare systems in population health: Capabilities of pooled cross-sectional time series methods," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 122-132.
    8. Fanny Janssen & Anthe van den Hende & Joop de Beer & Leo van Wissen, 2016. "Sigma and beta convergence in regional mortality: A case study of the Netherlands," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 35(4), pages 81-116, July.
    9. Chi Lau & Ka Fung & Lee Pugalis, 2014. "Is health care expenditure across Europe converging? Findings from the application of a nonlinear panel unit root test," Eurasian Business Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 4(2), pages 137-156, December.

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