Health expenditure, child and maternal mortality nexus: a comparative global analysis

Rana, Rezwanul Hasan and Alam, Khorshed and Gow, Jeff (2018) Health expenditure, child and maternal mortality nexus: a comparative global analysis. BMC International Health and Human Rights, 18 (1). pp. 1-15.

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Background: This paper provides empirical evidence on how the relationship between health expenditure and health outcomes varies across countries at different income levels.

Method: Heterogeneity and cross-section dependence were controlled for in the panel data which consist of 161 countries over the period 1995-2014. Infant, under-five and maternal mortality along with life expectancy at birth were selected as health outcome measures. Cross-sectional augmented IPS unit root, panel autoregressive distributed lag, Dumitrescu-Hurlin and Toda-Yamamoto approach to Granger causality tests were used to investigate the relationship across four income groups. An impulse response function modelled the impact on health outcomes of negative shocks to health expenditure.

Results: The results indicate that the health expenditure and health outcome link is stronger for low-income compared to high-income countries. Moreover, rising health expenditure can reduce child mortality but has an insignificant relationship with maternal mortality at all income levels. Lower-income countries are more at risk of adverse impact on health because of negative shocks to health expenditure. Variations in child mortality are better explained by rising health expenditure than maternal mortality. However, the estimated results showed dissimilarity when different assumptions and methods were used.

Conclusion: The influence of health expenditure on health outcome varies significantly across different income levels except for maternal health. Policymakers should recognize that increasing spending has a minute potential to improve maternal health. Lastly, the results vary significantly due to income level, choice of assumptions (homogeneity, cross-section independence) and estimation techniques used. Therefore, findings of the cross-country panel studies should be interpreted with cautions.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Open access article - Published version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Commerce
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2018 02:04
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2018 05:33
Uncontrolled Keywords: health expenditure, health outcomes, cross-section dependence, heterogeneous panel, impulse response function, variance decomposition, ARDL, FMOLS
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
14 Economics > 1402 Applied Economics > 140208 Health Economics
14 Economics > 1403 Econometrics > 140304 Panel Data Analysis
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
C Society > 92 Health > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920204 Evaluation of Health Outcomes
B Economic Development > 91 Economic Framework > 9101 Macroeconomics > 910199 Macroeconomics not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1186/s12914-018-0167-1

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