Household out-of-pocket expenses on health: does disease type matter?

Dr. Fleur Wouterse, IFPRI

This study uses new household data from Burkina Faso and instrumental variable regressions to further our understanding of household behavior in relation to health care systems. In particular, we explain - at the individual level - the contraction of one of four diseases (malaria, digestive tract problems, respiratory infection and influenza). We then explain the choice of a treatment regime - home treatment or treatment at a public health facility - conditional upon the individual contracting a particular disease and estimate a health expenditure function conditional upon an individual contracting a particular disease and on the choice of treatment. Disease type is found to explain both treatment choice and health care expenditure with households more likely to opt for home treatment for influenza compared to other disease types and with respiratory infection as the most expensive to treat. We also find that treatment at a public health facility implies much higher expenses. Our results point to a gender bias with health care spending significantly higher for male household members. Further, households that have more relatively liquid assets are more likely to opt for care at a public health facility while migrants, as a source of information or even medication, reduce this likelihood.

About the speaker
Fleur joined IFPRI in September 2007. She holds a PhD in Development Economics from Wageningen University, the Netherlands. Her research mainly takes a micro-economic approach and focuses on households in rural West Africa. She has worked extensively on empirically linking migration and agricultural production. As a postdoctoral fellow in IFPRI's West and Central Africa Office she has given analytical support on a per-country basis for the implementation of CAADP (Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program). As a research fellow, she has worked on analyzing the linkages between agriculture, health and education to identify priorities for public investment in rural areas of Burkina Faso. Fleur is currently based in IFPRI’s Kampala office and mainly working on smallholder value chain integration through rural producer organizations.

Venue: Conference room

Date: 08 January 2015

Time: 12:30 - 13:30  CET