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Convergence in per capita health expenditures and health outcomes in the OECD countries

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Our analysis of 19 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries over the period 1972 to 2006 provides evidence of convergence in per capita health care expenditures for 17 countries, while the US and (to a lesser degree) Norway follow a different path. A simple decomposition of per capita health expenditures reveals that the divergence of the US comes from the divergence of the ‘ratio of health care expenditures to Gross Domestic Product (GDP)’ component, while Norway's divergence is mainly caused by the ‘labour productivity’ component. Interestingly, our results suggest that convergence in per capita health expenditures among the 17 OECD countries does not lead to convergence in health outcomes. Finally, we extend our analysis to examine convergence in various determinants of health expenditures.

Keywords: C23; I10; OECD countries; convergence clubs; health determinants; health expenditure; health outcomes

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Statistics and Insurance Science,University of Piraeus, 80 Karaoli and Dimitriou Str., 18534Piraeus, Greece 2: Department of Economics,University of Crete, Panepistimioupoli Gallou74100 Rethymno, Greece

Publication date: October 1, 2012

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