Saturday, December 4, 2010

Més despesa seguint interessos electorals o ideològics?

The growth of public health expenditures in OECD countries: Do government
ideology and electoral motives matter?


El comportament oportunístic dels governs amb la despesa sanitària queda reflectit en aquest article al JHE. Quan hi ha eleccions fan créixer la despesa pública, això és el que es mostra el marc de la OCDE 1971-2004. La ideologia es deixa de banda.
El plantejament de l'article:
Health care expenditures (HCE) have steadily risen in OECD countries and have therefore attracted a great deal of attention in the political discourse and in the scientific debate. The cause of this increase in expenditures remains somewhat unclear (for surveys of the literature see Gerdtham and Jönsson, 2000; Okunade et
al., 2004). Three strands of the literature can be distinguished. The first strand identifies a positive correlation between HCE and GDP growth in OECD countries and shows that GDP explains a high percentage of the variation of HCE (e.g., Newhouse, 1977; Parkin et al., 1987; Gerdtham and Jönsson, 1991; Gerdtham et al., 1992; Hitiris and Posnett, 1992, also Leu, 1986; Culyer, 1989). The second strand refines the econometric techniques and tests for panel unit roots, cointegration and structural breaks etc. (e.g., Hansen and King, 1996, 1998; McCoskey and Selden, 1998; Gerdtham and Löthgren 2000; Carrion-i-Silvestre, 2005; Jewell et al., 2003; Narayan, 2006; Herwartz and Theilen, 2003). Introducing the third strand of literature, Gerdtham and Jönsson (2000) encourage testing for “new” explanatory variables. For example, Baumol’s (1967) growth model of ‘unbalanced growth’ implies thatHCEis driven bywageincreases that exceed productivity growth (Hartwig, 2008). The relative price of medical care offers a ready explanation for the rise in HCE in OECD countries (Hartwig, forthcoming). The lion’s share of total HCE is public, implying that political factors could also play an important role in explaining the steady increase in HCE.
La conclusió
In this paper, I empirically evaluate how political forces influence the growth of public HCE. The results suggest that incumbents behaved opportunistically and increased the growth of public health expenditures in election years. Government ideology did not have an influence. These findings indicate (1) the importance of public health in policy debates before elections and (2) the political pressure towards re-organizing public health policy platforms especially in times of demographic change.
This finding is in line with the related empirical literature that ideology did not affect budgetary affairs in the last two decades, but ideology-induced effects can be identified in nonbudgetary affairs. For example, market-oriented governments have deregulated product markets in OECD countries in the 1980–2003 period (Potrafke, 2010), and government ideology has had a strong influence on political alignment with the U.S.: leftwing governments were less sympathetic to US positions (Potrafke, 2009c).
Mirat en detall, no explica què vol dir ideologia i tampoc què vol dir un país. Hi ha estats que tenen tantes eleccions que poden afectar a la despesa que tot plegat opera com factor de confusió. El deixaré al calaix, m'ha interessat el plantejament, però no les dades ni els resultats.

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