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Does Quality of Government Matter in Public Health?: Comparing the Role of Quality and Quantity of Government at the National Level

Sunhee Kim () and Jaesun Wang ()
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Sunhee Kim: Department of Welfare Administration, School of Social Welfare, Seowon University, Musimseoro 377-3, Cheongju 28674, Korea
Jaesun Wang: Department of Public Administration, Honam University, 417, Eodeung-daero, Gwangsan-gu, Gwangju 62399, Korea

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 11, 1-24

Abstract: This study aims to examine the degree of direct or indirect impact of quality and quantity of government on public health. It is a very important topic in that previous studies did not consider the role of government; they focused on the impact of national economic, social, and political factors on public health, therefore, disregarding the governmental factors. We measured the quantity of government by public expenditure on heath (i.e., rate of share of government budget to gross domestic product (GDP)) and the quality of government by five variables such as corruption control, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, voice and accountability, and rule of law. Based on national-level panel data (three waves) that covered 148–194 countries, we examined how quality and quantity of government has an impact on four kinds of public health, i.e., infant mortality, under-five mortality, maternal mortality, and life expectancy. Results show that both the quality and quantity of government had a significant impact on public health. In the quality of government, government effectiveness has a positive impact on life expectancy and a negative influence on infant deaths. Moreover, the quality of government has a greater impact on public health than the quantity of government. Lastly, the quality of government plays a role in moderating the relationships between quantity of government and the predicted variables.

Keywords: quality of government; public health; role of government; infant mortality; life expectancy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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