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The effect of eliminating health user fees on adult health and labor supply in Jamaica

Diether Beuermann () and Camilo J. Pecha

Journal of Health Economics, 2020, vol. 73, issue C

Abstract: This paper estimates the effects of Jamaica’s elimination of user fees in public health facilities on the health and labor supply of working-age individuals. The policy change affected about 83 percent of the population, that is, those who lack health insurance and mainly rely on the public health system. The analysis finds no effects among individuals younger than 40 years old. However, for individuals within the 40–64 age range, the analysis finds that the policy reduced the number of lost days due to illness by 44.3 percent. No effects were found on employment or labor formality at the extensive margin. However, consistent with a reduced number of lost days, the analysis identified a positive effect on labor supply at the intensive margin equivalent to 3.04 weekly hours. Finally, overall benefits are relatively stronger for women, thereby reducing the observed baseline disadvantages relative to men.

JEL-codes: H51 I1 J22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2020.102355

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Journal of Health Economics is currently edited by J. P. Newhouse, A. J. Culyer, R. Frank, K. Claxton and T. McGuire

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