The Impoverishing Effect of Adverse Health Events: Evidence from the Western Balkans

33 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Mariapia Mendola

Mariapia Mendola

University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for European Studies (CefES)

Caryn Bredenkamp

World Bank - Health, Nutrition and Population

Michele Gragnolati

World Bank - Latin America and Caribbean Region

Date Written: December 1, 2007

Abstract

This paper investigates the extent to which the health systems of the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and Kosovo) have succeeded in providing financial protection against adverse health events. The authors examine disparities in health status, healthcare utilization, and out-of-pocket payments for healthcare (including informal payments), and explore the impact of healthcare expenditures on household economic status and poverty. Methodologies include (i) generating a descriptive assessment of health and healthcare disparities across socioeconomic groups, (ii) measuring the incidence and intensity of catastrophic healthcare payments, (iii) examining the effect of out-of-pocket payments on poverty headcount and poverty gap measures, and (iv) running sets of country-specific probit regressions to model the relationship between health status, healthcare utilization, and poverty. On balance, the findings show that the impact of health expenditures on household economic wellbeing and poverty is most severe in Albania and Kosovo, while Montenegro is striking for the financial protection that the health system seems to provide. Data are drawn from Living Standards and Measurement Surveys.

Keywords: Health Monitoring & Evaluation, Health Systems Development & Reform, Health Economics & Finance, Population Policies, Rural Poverty Reduction

Suggested Citation

Mendola, Mariapia and Bredenkamp, Caryn and Gragnolati, Michele, The Impoverishing Effect of Adverse Health Events: Evidence from the Western Balkans (December 1, 2007). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper Series, Vol. , pp. -, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1073387

Mariapia Mendola

University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA) ( email )

Via Conservatorio 7
Milano, 20122
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milan, 20126
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for European Studies (CefES)

U6 Building
Viale Piero e Alberto Pirelli, 22
Milano, 20126
Italy

Caryn Bredenkamp

World Bank - Health, Nutrition and Population ( email )

United States

Michele Gragnolati (Contact Author)

World Bank - Latin America and Caribbean Region ( email )

1818 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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