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The Relationship Between Economic Conditions, Access to Health Care, and Health Outcomes

  • Arild Aakvik

This paper analyses the impact of access to health care and economic conditions on health outcomes. Fixed-effects models are estimated using municipality data from 1996 to 2002. Health is proxied by total mortality rates divided into three different causes of death. Access to health care is proxied by number of physicians, and other medical personnel. We find an insignificant effect of per capital number of GPs on mortality. However, the number of vacant positions (unmet demand) in municipalities increases mortality rates significantly. Unemployment, which has been an important determinant of mortality in many studies, is found to have no effect on health outcomes in our data. However, other economic factors, such as the level of spending on health and social policy, has a significant effect on reduced mortality rates. In a policy simulation, we find that mortality rates can be reduced on average by 0.8 per cent by eliminating all (around 500) vacant GP positions

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Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings with number 34.

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Date of creation: 11 Aug 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ecm:ausm04:34
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  1. Cutler, David M, 1995. "The Incidence of Adverse Medical Outcomes under Prospective Payment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 29-50, January.
  2. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2003. "Good times make you sick," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 637-658, July.
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  8. Lindeboom, Maarten & Portrait, France & van den Berg, Gerard J, 2004. "Individual Mortality and Macroeconomic Conditions from Birth to Death," CEPR Discussion Papers 4200, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Michael Greenstone & Kenneth Y. Chay, 2000. "The Convergence in Black-White Infant Mortality Rates during the 1960's," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 326-332, May.
  10. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 2001. "Mortality, Income, And Income Inequality Over Time In Britain And The United States," Working Papers 267, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
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  12. Gravelle, Hugh S. E., 1984. "Time series analysis of mortality and unemployment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 297-305, December.
  13. Maarten Lindeboom & France Portrait & Gerard J. van den Berg, 2003. "Individual Mortality and Macro-Economic Conditions from Birth to Death," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-072/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 14 Oct 2003.
  14. John Robst & Glenn Graham, 1997. "Access to health care and current health status: do physicians matter?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 45-48.
  15. Kemna, Harrie J. M. I., 1987. "Working conditions and the relationship between schooling and health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 189-210, September.
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  17. Hitiris, Theo & Posnett, John, 1992. "The determinants and effects of health expenditure in developed countries," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 173-181, August.
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