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Attitudes of Germans towards distributive issues in the German health system

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  • Ahlert, Marlies
  • Pfarr, Christian

Abstract

Social health care systems are inevitably confronted with the scarcity of resources and the resulting distributional challenges. Since prioritization implies distributional effects, decisions on respective rules should take citizens’ preferences into account. Thus, knowledge about citizens’ attitudes and preferences regarding different distributional issues implied by the type of financing health care is necessary to judge the public acceptance of a health system. In this study we concentrate on two distributive issues in the German health system: First, we analyse the acceptance of prioritizing decisions concerning the treatment of certain patient groups, in this case patients who all need a heart operation. Here we focus on the fact that a patient is strong smoker or a non-smoker, the criteria of age or the fact that a patient has or does not have young children. Second, we investigate Germans’ opinions towards income dependent health services. The results reveal strong effects of individuals’ attitudes regarding general aspects of the health system on priorities, e.g. that individuals behaving health demanding should not be preferred. In addition, experiences of limited access to health services are found to have a strong influence on citizens’ attitudes, too. Finally, decisions about different prioritization criteria are found to be not independent.

Suggested Citation

  • Ahlert, Marlies & Pfarr, Christian, 2014. "Attitudes of Germans towards distributive issues in the German health system," MPRA Paper 56881, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:56881
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    Cited by:

    1. Ahlert, Marlies & Pfarr, Christian, 2015. "The acceptance of priority criteria in health care: international evidence," MPRA Paper 64760, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    health care priority-setting; distributive preferences; quality of health care;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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