The Rise of Noncommunicable Diseases in Latin America and the Caribbean: Challenges for Public Health Policies

97 Pages Posted: 14 May 2015

See all articles by Maria Victoria Anauati

Maria Victoria Anauati

University of San Andres (UMSA)

Sebastian Galiani

University of Maryland - Department of Economics

Federico Weinschelbaum

Universidad Torcuato Di Tella - Departamento de Economia; CONICET

Date Written: May 12, 2015

Abstract

The health landscape in Latin America and the Caribbean is changing quickly. The region is undergoing a demographic and epidemiological transition in which health problems are highly concentrated on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). In light of this, the region faces two main challenges: (1) develop cost-effective policies to prevent NCD risk factors, and (2) increase access to quality healthcare in a scenario in which a large share of the labor force is employed in the informal sector. This paper describes both alternative interventions to expand health insurance coverage and their tradeoff with labor informality and moral hazard problems. The paper also focuses on obesity as a case example of a NCD, and emphasizes how lack of knowledge along with self-control problems would lead people to make suboptimal decisions related to food consumption, which may later manifest in obesity problems.

Keywords: Noncommunicable diseases, obesity, health insurance

JEL Classification: I12, I13, I18

Suggested Citation

Anauati, Maria Victoria and Galiani, Sebastian and Weinschelbaum, Federico, The Rise of Noncommunicable Diseases in Latin America and the Caribbean: Challenges for Public Health Policies (May 12, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2605662 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2605662

Maria Victoria Anauati

University of San Andres (UMSA) ( email )

Vita Dumas 284
(1644) Victoria, Pcia
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires 1644
Argentina

Sebastian Galiani (Contact Author)

University of Maryland - Department of Economics ( email )

College Park, MD 20742
United States

Federico Weinschelbaum

Universidad Torcuato Di Tella - Departamento de Economia ( email )

Minones 2177
1428 Buenos Aires
Argentina
541151697183 (Phone)

CONICET ( email )

Buenos Aires, C1425FQB
Argentina

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