Can Health Insurance Reduce Household Vulnerability? Evidence from Vietnam

44 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2018

See all articles by Thang T. Vo

Thang T. Vo

University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City - School of Economics

Van H. Pham

Baylor University - Department of Economics

Date Written: July 7, 2018

Abstract

This study provides new evidence on the impact of health insurance coverage on household vulnerability using the Vietnam Access to Resources Household Surveys (VARHS) for 2010 and 2012. We apply propensity score matching to address the non-random selection of households into health insurance status. The VARHS data allow us to include risk preference as a predictor of health insurance propensity, an important source of endogeneity between health insurance coverage and vulnerability. We estimate that health insurance helps rural households in Vietnam reduce the idiosyncratic component of utility loss by 81 per cent and the probability of being poor by 19 per cent. Our results are robust to alternative statistical specifications. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper measuring the impact of health insurance coverage on household ex-ante vulnerability. Our findings suggest that expanding access, reducing costs and improving efficiency in health care would have big benefits of reducing vulnerability for the poor.

Keywords: Health Insurance, Impact Evaluation, Vulnerability, Risk Aversion, VARHS, Vietnam

JEL Classification: I13, I15, I32

Suggested Citation

Vo, Thang Tat and Pham, Van H., Can Health Insurance Reduce Household Vulnerability? Evidence from Vietnam (July 7, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3209805 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3209805

Thang Tat Vo

University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City - School of Economics ( email )

1A Hoang Dieu, Phu Nhuan
Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam

Van H. Pham (Contact Author)

Baylor University - Department of Economics ( email )

One Bear Place #98003
Waco, TX 76798
United States
(254) 710-3521 (Phone)
(254) 710-6142 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.baylor.edu/van_pham

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