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Can high-speed rail improve health and alleviate health inequality? Evidence from China

Fanglin Chen, Xinyue Hao and Zhongfei Chen

Transport Policy, 2021, vol. 114, issue C, 266-279

Abstract: This study uses the China Health and Nutrition Survey data to investigate the relationship between infrastructure construction and health inequality, particularly by exploring a quasi-natural experiment, namely, high-speed rail (HSR) projects. We find that HSR accessibility improves the health of local residents with a coefficient of 0.298, which means that HSR operation will lead to a 2.30% increase in health. HSR accessibility also increases individual income, per capita household income, and the probability of purchasing medical insurance, thereby increasing the health level of individuals. Further analysis shows that HSR reduces the health gap across gender and urban–rural areas. Unfortunately, HSR also increases the health gap among different income groups.

Keywords: China; Health; Health inequality; High-speed rail (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I12 O18 R40 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2021.10.007

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