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Decomposing social indicators using distributional data

  • Bidani, Benu
  • Ravallion, Martin

Are the poor less healthy? Does public health spending matter more to them? The authors decompose aggregate health indicators using a random coefficients model in which the aggregates are regressed on the population distribution by subgroups, taking account of the statistical properties of the error term and allowing for other determinants of health status, including public health spending. This also allows them to test possible determinants of the variation in the underlying subgroup indicators. They implement the approach with data on health outcomes and poverty measures for 35 developing countries. The authors find that poor people have appreciably worse health status on average than others - and that differences in public health spending tend to matter more to the poor. This is probably because the nonpoor are in a better position to buy private health care.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1487.

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Date of creation: 31 Jul 1995
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1487
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  1. Hoque, Asraul, 1991. "An Application and Test for a Random Coefficient Model in Bangladesh Agriculture," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(1), pages 77-90, Jan.-Marc.
  2. Kakwani, N., 1993. "Performance in living standards : An international comparison," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 307-336, August.
  3. Shaohua Chen & Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1993. "Is poverty increasing in the developing world?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1146, The World Bank.
  4. Sen, Amartya, 1981. "Public Action and the Quality of Life in Developing Countries," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 43(4), pages 287-319, November.
  5. Ravallion, Martin, 1992. "Does Undernutrition Respond to Incomes and Prices? Dominance Tests for Indonesia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(1), pages 109-24, January.
  6. Lipton, Michael & Ravallion, Martin, 1995. "Poverty and policy," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 41, pages 2551-2657 Elsevier.
  7. P.A.V.B. Swamy & P.A. Tinsley, 1976. "Linear prediction and estimation methods for regression models with stationary stochastic coefficients," Special Studies Papers 78, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Blundell, Richard & Pashardes, Panos & Weber, Guglielmo, 1993. "What Do We Learn About Consumer Demand Patterns from Micro Data?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 570-97, June.
  9. Waldmann, Robert J, 1992. "Income Distribution and Infant Mortality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1283-302, November.
  10. Singh, Balvir, et al, 1976. "On the Estimation of Structural Change: A Generalization of the Random Coefficients Regression Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 17(2), pages 340-61, June.
  11. Ravallion, Martin, 1996. "How Well Can Method Substitute for Data? Five Experiments in Poverty Analysis," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 11(2), pages 199-221, August.
  12. Ravallion, Martin & Datt, Gaurav & van de Walle, Dominique, 1991. "Quantifying Absolute Poverty in the Developing World," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(4), pages 345-61, December.
  13. Alok Bhargava & Jiang Yu, 1997. "A Longitudinal Analysis of Infant and Child Mortality Rates in Developing Countries," Indian Economic Review, Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, vol. 32(2), pages 141-153, July.
  14. Stoker, Thomas M, 1993. "Empirical Approaches to the Problem of Aggregation Over Individuals," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 1827-74, December.
  15. Sudhir Anand & Martin Ravallion, 1993. "Human Development in Poor Countries: On the Role of Private Incomes and Public Services," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 133-150, Winter.
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