Government Health Expenditure and Public Health Outcomes: A Comparative Study among 17 Countries and Implications for US Health Care Reform
Tae Kuen Kim, Shannon R. Lane

This research empirically analyzed the relationship between public health expenditure and national health outcomes among developed countries. The data was collected from 17 OECD countries between 1973 and 2000. Two public health outcome indicators, infant mortality rate and life expectancy at birth, were used as dependent variables. To analyze cross-country panel data, we used a mixed-effect model. A statistically significant association was found between government health expenditure and public health outcomes. Particularly, the findings showed a negative relationship between government health expenditure and infant mortality rate, and a positive relationship between government health expenditure and life expectancy at birth. The results suggest that higher government spending on medical goods and services can be shown to provide better overall health results for individuals. Based on these results, we discussed the policy implication of recent changes in healthcare policy in the United States as well as future research direction.

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