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A multilevel analysis on the determinants of regional health care expenditure. A note
López, Guillem; Sáez, Marc
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
We apply a multilevel hierarchical model to explore whether anaggregation fallacy exists in estimating the income elasticity of healthexpenditure by ignoring the regional composition of national healthexpenditure figures. We use data for 110 regions in eight OECD countriesin 1997: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden andUnited Kingdom. In doing this we have tried to identify two sources ofrandom variation: within countries and between-countries. Our resultsshow that: 1- Variability between countries amounts to (SD) 0.5433, andjust 13% of that can be attributed to income elasticity and the remaining87% to autonomous health expenditure; 2- Within countries, variabilityamounts to (SD) 1.0249; and 3- The intra-class correlation is 0.5300. Weconclude that we have to take into account the degree of fiscaldecentralisation within countries in estimating income elasticity ofhealth expenditure. Two reasons lie behind this: a) where there isdecentralisation to the regions, policies aimed at emulating diversitytend to increase national health care expenditure; and b) without fiscaldecentralisation, central monitoring of finance tends to reduce regionaldiversity and therefore decrease national health expenditure.
Labour, Public, Development and Health Economics
oecd health expenditure
fiscal federalism
multilevel hierarchical models
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