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Health insurance and height inequality: evidence from European Health Insurance Expansions

Baten, Jörg, Batinti, Alberto, Costa-Font, Joan ORCID: 0000-0001-7174-7919 and Radatz, Laura (2024) Health insurance and height inequality: evidence from European Health Insurance Expansions. Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, 93. ISSN 0038-0121

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.seps.2024.101905


Health insurance expansions can improve health outcomes by increasing access to healthcare. This is especially true among the poorer segments of the population, who may not be able to afford the cost of healthcare, or might lack the information about where to seek proper medical care. In this paper we examine whether increased access to health insurance has historically reduced height inequality by promoting body growth, particularly among poorer individuals, and so enhanced their height, a widely used and well-established anthropometric health and well-being indicator. We draw on evidence from a panel of countries for which we could measure height inequality. Our evidence document clear evidence that indeed within-country differences in height inequality decreased following health insurance expansions towards near-universal coverage.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2024 The Authors
Divisions: Health Policy
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
JEL classification: N - Economic History > N3 - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income, and Wealth > N34 - Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income and Wealth: Europe: 1913-
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I10 - General
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J1 - Demographic Economics > J15 - Economics of Minorities and Races; Non-labor Discrimination
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2024 11:09
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2024 18:54

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