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The evolution of income-related inequalities in health care utilization in Switzerland over time

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  • Robert E. Leu
  • Martin Schellhorn

Abstract

This study investigates equity in access to health care in Switzerland over time, using nationwide representative survey data from 1982, 1992, 1997 and 2002. Both simple quintile distributions and concentration indices are used to assess horizontal equity, i.e. the extent to which adults in equal need for medical care appear to have equal rates of medical care utilization. Looking at each of the four survey years separately the results indicate that by and large, there is little or no inequity in use except with respect to specialist visits which are clearly pro rich distributed as in most other OECD countries. We neither find much significant variation over time despite the fact that the share of health care has grown from close to 8% to more than 11% over this period and that a major reform of the health care system has taken place in 1996

Suggested Citation

  • Robert E. Leu & Martin Schellhorn, 2004. "The evolution of income-related inequalities in health care utilization in Switzerland over time," Diskussionsschriften dp0413, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
  • Handle: RePEc:ube:dpvwib:dp0413
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Martin Schellhorn, 2001. "The effect of variable health insurance deductibles on the demand for physician visits," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(5), pages 441-456.
    2. Wagstaff, Adam & van Doorslaer, Eddy & Watanabe, Naoko, 2003. "On decomposing the causes of health sector inequalities with an application to malnutrition inequalities in Vietnam," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 207-223, January.
    3. Adam Wagstaff & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2000. "Measuring and Testing for Inequity in the Delivery of Health Care," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(4), pages 716-733.
    4. Humphries, Karin H. & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2000. "Income-related health inequality in Canada," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 663-671, March.
    5. Andrew M. Jones, 2012. "health econometrics," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Palgrave Macmillan.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ana I. Balsa & Máximo Rossi & Patricia Triunfo, 2011. "Horizontal Inequity in Access to Health Care in Four South American Cities," REVISTA DE ECONOMÍA DEL ROSARIO, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO, June.
    2. Michael Gerfin & Martin Schellhorn, 2006. "Nonparametric bounds on the effect of deductibles in health care insurance on doctor visits - Swiss evidence," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(9), pages 1011-1020.
    3. Robert E. Leu & Martin Schellhorn, 2004. "The evolution of income-related health inequalities in Switzerland over time," Diskussionsschriften dp0414, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
    4. Mosca, Ilaria, 2006. "Is decentralisation the real solution?: A three country study," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 113-120, June.
    5. Bilger, Marcel, 2008. "Progressivity, horizontal inequality and reranking caused by health system financing: A decomposition analysis for Switzerland," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1582-1593, December.
    6. Leu, Robert E. & Schellhorn, Martin, 2004. "The Evolution of Income-Related Health Inequalities in Switzerland over Time," IZA Discussion Papers 1346, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    health care utilization; inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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