A Resource-Sensitive Framework for Defining and Measuring Equality of Opportunity in Health Care

16 March 2017
Versione stampabile

3 PM, Seminar Room, Department of Economics and Management

Speaker: Sergio Beraldo, University of Naples Federico II

Abstract

We offer a new  framework for defining and measuring disparities in the distribution of health care opportunities. These are conceived as inversely related to the cost of access to a specified bundle of health services of given quality,  computed by monetizing  all the concrete impediments that must be overcome to get access.  In the ex-ante perspective we adopt, what is salient is the distribution of costs across cells,  where each cell is defined by a set of characteristics determining access barriers. Differently from the existing health literature, our  approach  allows to disentangle the opportunities individuals enjoy from the mere utilization of health services.

Accordingly, an inequality health-opportunities index is proposed and resource-conditional policy suggestions are deducted.

A simple empirical test based on Italian data shows how our methodology can be  applied to measure disparities in health care opportunities both across regions and over time.