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The Paradox of Good Health and Poverty: Assessing Cuban Health Outcomes under Castro

35 Pages Posted: 5 May 2017  

Vincent Geloso

Texas Tech University

Gilbert Berdine

Texas Tech University - Health Science Center

Date Written: May 3, 2017

Abstract

In spite of being poor and lacking in economic opportunities, the population of Cuba enjoyed significant improvements in health outcomes under the Castro regime. Many have praised the ability of the regime to overcome the barriers of poverty and economic stagnation in order to improve health outcomes. Many have also argued that efficient features of Cuba’s health policy should be imported regardless of political considerations. In this paper, we argue that these improvements are probably overestimated, but that they are real nonetheless. We also argue that some of these improvements were an integral part of health policy and could only have been realized by the use of extremely coercive institutions. While efficient at fighting certain types of diseases, coercive institutions are generally unable to generate economic growth. On the other hand, the poverty such coercive institutions engender may have actually helped improve health outcomes, providing us with a false impression of the efficacy of the health care system in Cuba.

Keywords: Health Indicators; Public Choice Theory; Public Economics; Cuban Economy; Health Outcomes

Suggested Citation

Geloso, Vincent and Berdine, Gilbert, The Paradox of Good Health and Poverty: Assessing Cuban Health Outcomes under Castro (May 3, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2962742 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2962742

Vincent Geloso (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University ( email )

1901 University Avenue
Lubbock, TX Texas 79410
United States

Gilbert Berdine

Texas Tech University - Health Science Center ( email )

Lubbock, TX
United States

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