Intrahousehold health care financing strategy and the gender gap: Empirical evidence from India

Research, Preprint English OPEN
Asfaw, Abay ; Klasen, Stephan ; Lamanna, Francesca (2008)
  • Publisher: Ibero-Amerika-Inst. für Wirtschaftsforschung Göttingen
  • Subject: Gesundheitsvorsorge | health care finance | hospitalization | J71 | Privater Haushalt | I12 | Frauen | India | O15 | Gesundheitsfinanzierung | gender discrimination, health care finance, hospitalization, India | Indien | gender discrimination | Geschlechterdiskriminierung
    • jel: jel:J71 | jel:O15 | jel:I12
      ddc: ddc:330
    mesheuropmc: health care economics and organizations

The “missing women” dilemma in India has sparked interest in investigating gender discrimination in the provision of health care in the country. No studies, however, have directly examined this discrimination in relation to household behavior in health care financing. We hypothesize that households who face tight budget constraints are more likely to spend their meager resources on hospitalization of boys rather than girls. We use the 60th Indian National Sample Survey and a multinomial logit model to test this hypothesis and to shed some light on this important but overlooked issue. The results reveal that while the gap in the probability of boys’ and girls’ hospitalization and usage of household income and savings is relatively small, the gender gap in the probability of hospitalization and usage of scarce resources is very high. Ceteris paribus, the probability of boys to be hospitalized by financing from relatively scarce sources such as borrowing, sale of assets, help from friends, etc., is much higher than that of girls. Moreover, the results indicate that the gender gap deepens as we move from the richest to poorest households.
  • References (15)
    15 references, page 1 of 2

    Ellen A, Hunt K. (Eds.) 2000. Gender Inequalities in Health. Open University Press: Buckingham.

    Fabricant SJ, Kamara CW, Mills A. 1999. Why the poor pay more: household curative expenditures in rural Sierra Leone. International Journal of Health Planning Management 14: 179-199.

    Ganatra, BR, Hirve SS. 1994. Male bias in health utilisation for under fives. Bulletin of the WHO 72(1): 101-104.

    Gangadharan L, Maitra P. 2000. Does child mortality reflect gender bias? Evidence from Pakistan. Indian Economic Review 35(2): 113-131.

    Garg A, Morduch J. 1998. Sibling rivalry and the gender gap: evidence from child health outcome in Ghana. Journal of Population Economics 11(4): 471-93.

    Greene W. 2003. Econometric Analysis. Prentice Hall: New Jersey.

    Greene W. 2006. Censored Data and Truncated Distributions in Mills T, Patterson K. (Eds.) The Handbook of Econometrics 1: 695-734. Palgrave: London.

    Haddad L, Reardon T. 1993. Gender bias in the allocation of resources within the household in Burkina Faso: a disaggregated outlay equivalent analysis. Journal of Development Studies 29(2): 260-276.

    Jatrana S. 2003. Explaining gender disparity in child health in Haryana state of India. Asian Meta Center Research Paper Series 16. Also available at http://www.populationasia.org/Publications/ResearchPaper/AMCRP16.pdf Jayawardene R. 1993. Illness perception: social cost and coping-strategies of malaria cases. Social Science Medicine 37: 1169-1176.

    Khan ME, Barge S, Philip G. 1996. Abortion in India: an overview. Social Change 26(3 & 4): 208-225.

  • Metrics
    No metrics available
Share - Bookmark