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Redistributive Effects of the Swedish Health Care Financing System

  • Gerdtham, Ulf-G.


    (Centre for Health Economics)

  • Sundberg, Gun

    (Department of Economics)

The paper investigates the redistributive effects of the Swedish health care financing system in 1980 and 1990 for four different financial sources: County council taxes, payroll taxes, direct payments oand state grants. The redistributive effects are decomposed into vertical, horizontal and reranking segments for each of the four financial sources. The data used in this study is based on probability samples of the Swedish population, the Level of Living Survey (LNU) from 1981 and 1991. The paper concludes that the Swedish health care financing system is weakly progressive, although direct payments are regressive. There are some horizontal inequity and reranking, which mainly comes from the county council taxes, since those tax rates vary for each county councils. The implication is that, to some extent, people with equal income are treated unequally.

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Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 115.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Jun 1996
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Health Planning and Management, 1998, pages 289-306.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0115
Contact details of provider: Postal: The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46-(0)8-736 90 00
Fax: +46-(0)8-31 01 57
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  1. Lambert, Peter J & Aronson, J Richard, 1993. "Inequality Decomposition Analysis and the Gini Coefficient Revisited," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(420), pages 1221-27, September.
  2. Jenkins, Stephen P., 1988. "Empirical measurement of horizontal inequity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 305-329, December.
  3. Kakwani, Nanok C, 1977. "Measurement of Tax Progressivity: An International Comparison," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(345), pages 71-80, March.
  4. Louis Kaplow, 1985. "Horizontal Equity: Measures in Search of a Principle," NBER Working Papers 1679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Kaplow, Louis, 1989. "Horizontal Equity: Measures in Search of a Principle," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 42(2), pages 139-54, June.
  6. Aronson, J Richard & Johnson, Paul & Lambert, Peter J, 1994. "Redistributive Effects and Unequal Income Tax Treatment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(423), pages 262-70, March.
  7. Jenkins, Stephen, 1988. "Calculating Income Distribution Indices from Micro-Data," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 41(1), pages 139-42, March.
  8. Aronson, J. Richard & Lambert, Peter J., 1994. "Decomposing the Gini Coefficient to Reveal the Vertical, Horizontal, and Reranking Effects of Income Taxation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(2), pages 273-94, June.
  9. Plotnick, Robert, 1981. "A Measure of Horizontal Inequity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(2), pages 283-88, May.
  10. Jenkins, Stephen, 1988. "Reranking and the Analysis of Income Redistribution," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 35(1), pages 65-76, February.
  11. Bjorklund, A. & Palme, M. & Svensson, I., 1995. "Assessing the Effects of Swedish Tax and Benefit Reforms on Income Distribution Using Different Income Concepts," Papers 13, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  12. Wagstaff, Adam & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 1992. "Equity in the finance of health care: Some international comparisons," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 361-387, December.
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