The Convergence of Health Care Financing Structures: Empirical Evidence from OECD-Countries
In this paper we concentrate on the question whether the financing structure of the health care systems converges. In a world of increasing economic integration convergence in health care financing (HCF) and, hence, decreasing differences in HCF across countries enhance individuals' (labour) mobility and support harmonization processes. As an indicator for convergence we take the public financing ratio in % of total HCF and in % of GDP. The major finding is that HCF in the OECD countries converged in the time period 1970 - 2005. This conclusion also holds when looking at smaller sub groups of countries and shorter time periods. However, we find evidence that countries do not move towards a common mean and that the rate of convergence is decreasing over time.
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