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Does Public Health Insurance Cushion the Impact of Health Shocks?

November 27, 2018

MC 10-100

  • We use the roll-out of universal health insurance in Ghana to assess the effect of coverage on consumption at times of illness, and examine the extent to which formal health insurance reduces reliance on loans and remittances, as well as reductions on schooling and increases in child labor to cope with the economic impact of ill-health.

    Our results suggest that the introduction of the national health insurance may have reduced the need for the latter. In particular, we find suggestive evidence that with health insurance, households experiencing a health shock are more likely to refrain from pulling their children out of school to put them to work.

    Avoidance of these costly self-insurance mechanisms is potentially an important part of the social value of formal health insurance.



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    Erasmus University

    Silvia Mandico is a doctoral candidate in economics at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, and she expects to obtain her Ph.D. in the spring of 2019. Her fields of research are applied microeconometrics, labor, and health.

  • DIME is a World Bank-wide program to generate knowledge on the effectiveness of development policies. Working across 18 thematic areas, DIME collaborates with 300 agencies in 72 countries to improve the effectiveness of policies and programs and strengthen country capacity for real-time evidence-based policy-making. More »


  • TIME: 12:30PM to 2:00PM
  • LOCATION: MC 10-100, World Bank Main Complex
  • CONTACT: Silvia Velez Caroco
  • svelezcaroco@worldbank.org