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Uptake of Health Insurance and the Productive Safety Net Program in Rural Ethiopia

Zemzem Shigute (), Anagaw Derseh Mebratie (), Robert Sparrow (), Zelalem Yilma (), Getnet Alemu () and Arjun Bedi
Additional contact information
Zemzem Shigute: ISS, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Anagaw Derseh Mebratie: ISS, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Zelalem Yilma: ISS, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Getnet Alemu: University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

No 9833, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: Due to lack of well-developed insurance, credit and labor markets, rural families in Ethiopia are exposed to a range of covariate and idiosyncratic risks. In 2005, to deal with the consequences of covariate risks, the government implemented the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) - an active labor market program to build rural assets, and in 2011, to mitigate the financial consequences of ill-health, the government introduced a pilot Community Based Health Insurance (CBHI) Scheme. This paper explores whether scheme uptake and retention is affected by access to the PSNP. Based on several rounds of household level panel data and qualitative information, the analysis shows that participating in the PSNP increases the probability of CBHI uptake by 24 percentage points and enhances scheme retention by 10 percentage points. Analysis of the channels through which the PSNP influences CBHI uptake indicates that the bulk of the effect may be attributed to explicit and implicit pressure applied by government officials on PSNP beneficiaries. Whether this is a desirable approach is debatable. Nevertheless, the results suggest that membership in existing social protection programs may be leveraged to spread new schemes and potentially accelerate poverty reduction efforts.

Keywords: productive safety net program; active labor market program; Ethiopia; community based health insurance; uptake of health insurance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I13 J48 J65 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 29 pages
Date: 2016-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-hea, nep-ias and nep-mfd
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1)

Published - published in: Social Science and Medicine, 2017, 176, 133-141

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