IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hhs/oslohe/2011_004.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Some problems with international comparisons of health spending – and a suggestion about how to quantify the size of the problems

Author

Listed:
  • Melberg, Hans Olav

    () (Department of Health Management and Health Economics)

Abstract

This paper investigates the extent to which conclusions from international comparison of health spending depend on different adjustment methods. The analysis shows, first, that health spending figures differ significantly because of different accounting standards. More specifically, spending on long term nursing care is not treated the same way in all the countries. Next, the rankings differ depending on whether spending is adjusted for purchasing power parity and health specific purchasing power adjustment. Finally, the paper examines the problem of how to quantify the degree to which an adjustment method changes the outcome of a comparison. A rank based approach sum changes in rank and compare this to maximum rank change possible. A share based approach sum changes in each units share of the total. Both approaches create a measure that is bounded between zero and one, but the share based approach also captures changes that do not result in rank differences.

Suggested Citation

  • Melberg, Hans Olav, 2011. "Some problems with international comparisons of health spending – and a suggestion about how to quantify the size of the problems," HERO On line Working Paper Series 2011:4, Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:oslohe:2011_004
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.med.uio.no/helsam/forskning/nettverk/hero/publikasjoner/skriftserie/2011/2011_4.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Lothgren, Mickael, 2000. "On stationarity and cointegration of international health expenditure and GDP," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 461-475, July.
    2. Alan M. Garber & Jonathan Skinner, 2008. "Is American Health Care Uniquely Inefficient?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(4), pages 27-50, Fall.
    3. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Jonsson, Bengt, 1991. "Conversion factor instability in international comparisons of health care expenditure," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 227-234, July.
    4. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Jonsson, Bengt, 1994. "Health care expenditure in the Nordic countries," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 207-220, January.
    5. John Nixon & Philippe Ulmann, 2006. "The relationship between health care expenditure and health outcomes," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 7(1), pages 7-18, March.
    6. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Jonsson, Bengt, 2000. "International comparisons of health expenditure: Theory, data and econometric analysis," Handbook of Health Economics,in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 11-53 Elsevier.
    7. Tom Stargardt, 2008. "Health service costs in Europe: cost and reimbursement of primary hip replacement in nine countries," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(S1), pages 9-20.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income inequality; health inequality; socioeconomic status; welfare states; concentration index; health spending per capita; OECD; Norway;

    JEL classification:

    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:oslohe:2011_004. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anbjørg Kolaas). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/heuiono.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.