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Waiting times and socioeconomic status: does sample selection matter?

  • A. Sharma;
  • L. Siciliani;
  • A. Harris ;

An increasing amount of empirical evidence suggests that patients with higher socioeconomic status wait less within publicly-funded hospitals to receive non-emergency (elective) surgery. Using data from Australia, we investigate the extent to which such gradient can be explained by sample selection, with richer patients being more likely to opt for treatment in the private sector when faced with waiting times in the public sector. We show that, once the potential biases introduced by sample selection are taken into account, the gradient between waiting times and socioeconomic status reduces significantly in size but does not disappear.

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Paper provided by HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York in its series Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers with number 11/22.

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Date of creation: Jul 2011
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Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:11/22
Contact details of provider: Postal: HEDG/HERC, Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom
Phone: (0)1904 323776
Fax: (0)1904 323759
Web page: http://www.york.ac.uk/economics/postgrad/herc/hedg/Email:


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  2. Meliyanni Johar & Glenn Jones & Michael Keane & Elizabeth Savage & Olena Stavrunova, 2010. "Differences in waiting times for elective admissions in NSW public hospitals: A decomposition analysis by non-clinical factors. CHERE Working Paper 2010/7," Working Papers 2010/7, CHERE, University of Technology, Sydney.
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  7. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  8. Giuseppe De Luca, 2008. "SNP and SML estimation of univariate and bivariate binary-choice models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(2), pages 190-220, June.
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  10. Peter Sivey, 2010. "The effect of waiting time and distance on hospital choice for English cataract patients," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 10/09, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
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