An Investigation Into The Convergence Processes For Health Expenditure And Health Outcomes In Economic Communities Of West African State (Ecowas)

AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE CONVERGENCE PROCESSES FOR HEALTH EXPENDITURE AND HEALTH OUTCOMES IN ECONOMIC COMMUNITIES OF WEST AFRICAN STATE (ECOWAS)

Health Expenditure


ABSTRACT

The study examined the convergence of health expendituresi as well as health outcomes for a group of Economic Community of West African States using annual data between 1995 and 2011. We employed beta convergence and Johansen (1998) Co-integration technique to investigate convergence in health expenditurei and health outcomes. The evidence from our results showed that the variable that measures the speed of convergence in health expenditurei among member of ECOWAS region is positive and significant for both absolute and conditional convergence which indicated that there is no convergence in health expenditurei.

Divergence in health expenditure indicates that there are differences across countries in health expenditure which direct each country to converge to its own steady state. However, the study found evidence of convergence in health outcomes. Convergence in health outcomes shows that health outcomes variables move towards the same direction for member states. The result obtained from Cointegration test also confirms divergence in health expenditurei and convergence in health outcomes for this region. The implication of these findings is that health challenges facing this region may continue, if member states are not ready to improve on resources allocated to health. Therefore the study suggested that policy makers should be more committed to regional policy especially in the area of resources allocated to health in their countries.Health Expenditure

INTRODUCTION

Health expenditure has been on increase in both developing and developed countries. The rise in health expenditurei according to Okunade et al.[1] has constitutes a major concern for health policy makers in both developing and developed countries, even though geographical distribution of money spend on health is uneven. In this respect, health economist researchers have focused on the factors determinants health expenditure (Gupta, Verhoeven and Tiongson, [2] ; Temple, [3] ; Kim and Moody, [4] ; Musgrove, [5] ; Filmer and Pritchett, [6] ; and Filmer et al.,[7] ) and the effect of this health expenditure on variables like income, diseases etc(Hitiris and Posnett, [8] ; Hansen and King, [9] ; Di Matteo and Di Matteo, [10] ; Karatzas, [11] ; Herwartz and Theilen, [12] ) also, the effect of health expenditure on health outcomes has been documented in the literature (Or, [13] ; Baldacci, Emanuele, Maria Teresa Guin-Sui, and Luiz de Mello, [14] ; Akinkugbe and Afeikhena, [15] )