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What Determines Health Status of Population in Pakistan?

Faisal Abbas () and Haroon Sarwar Awan ()
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Faisal Abbas: Independant Researcher and Consultant based in Islamabad
Haroon Sarwar Awan: University of Kansas

Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, 2018, vol. 139, issue 1, 1-23

Abstract: Abstract This paper empirically examines factors related to social, economic, demographic and health care services that affect health status in Pakistan. The analysis is conducted using ARDL bound testing approach on annual data ranging from 1960 to 2014. It is estimated that health spending has a significant impact on health status, specifically, development health spending and income are robust predictors of health status for the population in Pakistan and is seen to affect female life expectancy positively in both the short and in long run, however, it is important to note that the impact of income per capita is relatively stronger than that of public health spending. Total fertility rate (fr) appears to have a significant effect on child mortality rate (cmr) with a negative sign both in the short and in long-run. This result is especially important for developing countries like Pakistan where population growth is high and infant deaths are frequent. Bidirectional causality exists between infant and child mortality and fertility rate; these results are supported by the modern economic theory of population. The effect of medical personnel availability on health status, particularly in reducing infant and child mortality, remains statistically non-significant despite the bidirectional causal relationship between this variable and the infant and child mortality. Nutrition appears to be causally related to life expectancy and child mortality. Thus, it is important for the Government of Pakistan to design its policies based on the development targets in addition to the growth targets that have been set in place for the country.

Keywords: Health status; Infant mortality rate; Female life expectancy; Child mortality rate; Nutrition availability; Physician population ratio; Unemployment rate; Fertility; Pakistan (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:139:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-017-1702-5