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Health shocks, household consumption, and child nutrition

Author

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  • Marcos Vera-Hernández

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Aida Galiano Martínez

    (Universidad de Zaragoza)

Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of health shocks on household consumption and child nutrition. Using longitudinal data from rural Colombia we find that several items of household consumption, including medical expenditure, food consumption, and total consumption, increase following a recent illness event of an adult usually active in the labour market. In contrast to this, we find that girls¿ weight is negatively affected, as a consequence of the same illness event. The results on nutrition present an interesting gender bias, since we do not find any evidence that boys¿ nutritional status deteriorates. Our conclusion is that households make difficult intrahousehold choices when an illness shock hit them. The results have implications for the literature on testing for full insurance because it usually relies on household consumption net of medical expenditures as a measure of welfare. This fact shows that this literature might has underestimated the effects of health shocks on welfare. Este artículo investiga los efectos de los shock de salud sobre el consumo de los hogares y la nutrición infantil. A partir de una base de datos longitudinal que corresponde a datos del área rural de Colombia encontramos que varios elementos del consumo de los hogares, incluidos gastos médicos, consumo de alimentos y consumo total del hogar, aumentan después de que una reciente enfermedad afecte a un adulto del hogar activo en el mercado de trabajo. En contraposición a este resultado, encontramos que la nutrición de los niños se ve negativamente afectada. En concreto el peso de las niñas se reduce tras este shock de salud. Este resultado sobre nutrición presenta un interesante sesgo de género, ya que no encontramos evidencia de un deterioro nutricional en los niños. Nuestra conclusión es que los hogares tienen difícil elecciones dentro de los hogares cuando un shock de salud les sacude. Este resultado tiene implicaciones para la literatura que prueba la cobertura total de los hogares ya que esta atiende únicamente al consumo de los hogares, neto de los gastos médicos, como medida de bienestar. Este hecho muestra que esta literatura podría estar subestimando los efectos de los shock de salud sobre el bienestar de los hogares.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcos Vera-Hernández & Aida Galiano Martínez, 2008. "Health shocks, household consumption, and child nutrition," Working Papers. Serie EC 2008-14, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  • Handle: RePEc:ivi:wpasec:2008-14
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Juan Mañez & María Rochina-Barrachina & Amparo Sanchis & Juan Sanchis, 2013. "Do process innovations boost SMEs productivity growth?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 1373-1405, June.
    2. Sven Neelsen & Supon Limwattananon & Owen O'Donnell & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2015. "Economic Impact of Illness with Health Insurance but without Income Insurance," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-060/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Pilar Beneito López & Amparo Sanchis Llopis & María Engracia Rochina Barrachina, 2009. "The role of learning in innovation: in-house versus externally contracted R&D experience," Working Papers. Serie EC 2009-11, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Riesgo compartido; Nutrición infantil; Consumo del hogar; Shock de salud. Risk sharing; Child nutrition; Household Consumption; Intrahousehold; Health Shocks.;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation

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