Essays in health economics and health policy
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] This dissertation is a compilation of three essays. The first essay critiques a recent paper by Wilper et al. (2009) for its inappropriate model calibration in analyzing the association of health insurance and mortality. Using the individual-level data from a nationwide survey with more recent mortality follow-up information, it shows that the privately-insured do not significantly fare better in mortality risk compared to the uninsured. Moreover, hazard ratio estimate for the Medicaid suggests that public provision of insurance increases mortality. The second essay addresses the role of income in explaining the differential public health outcomes across developed countries. Noting that the growing arguments for socioeconomic gradient in health are based mostly on cross-sectional studies, panel analyses of five different public health outcomes are conducted. Results demonstrate that economic development remains critical in explaining health improvements at the aggregate level. The third essay analyzes the association of income and health care spending at the aggregate level. Using a large panel data from 24 industrialized nations for more than three decades, the close relationship between income and health care spending is established. In contrast to earlier cross-sectional studies, the panel analysis suggests that health expenditure growth is not as rapid as income growth in almost all nations.
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