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Health systems’ responsiveness and its characteristics: a cross-country comparative analysis

Silvana Robone, Nigel Rice and P Smith

Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers from HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York

Abstract: This paper investigates the influence of aggregate country-level characteristics on health system responsiveness, using data on 62 countries present in the World Health Survey. While evidence exists on variations in reported levels of health system responsiveness across countries, the literature is sparse on the determinants of responsiveness, particularly of system wide characteristics (World Health Report, 2000). We attempt to bridge this gap in the literature by considering simultaneously several plausible country-level characteristics as potential determinants of health system responsiveness. These characteristics refer to the way health care systems are organised and funded, the socio-demographic traits of the populations served and the economic, cultural and institutional characteristics of countries. We pay particular attention to the role of health care expenditures per capita while controlling for potential confounding factors. Data on responsiveness and socio-demographic characteristics of respondents are taken from the World Health Survey, a survey launched by the World Health Organization in 2001. Information on the country-level characteristics are obtained from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the World Value Survey and the Polity IV Project database. The empirical analysis is performed by adopting a two step procedure. First, we increase the crosscountry comparability of the data by adjusting for variation in the way survey respondents rate an objective level of responsiveness using the hierarchical ordered probit (hopit) model. Secondly, we investigate the influence of health spending per capita and other country characteristics on the adjusted country-level measures of responsiveness. Our results suggest that the most relevant determinants of responsiveness appear to be health expenditure per capita, health care expenditure in the public sector and population levels of education.

Keywords: Health systems responsiveness; Anchoring vignettes; Health care expenditures (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea
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