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Department of Economics, University of Bergen Working Papers in Economics, Department of Economics, University of Bergen

No 11/10:
Waiting time and socioeconomic status - an individual–level analysis

Karin Monstad (), Lars Birger Engesæter () and Birgitte Espehaug ()

Abstract: Waiting time is a rationing mechanism that is used in publicly funded healthcare systems. From an equity viewpoint, it is regarded as preferable to co-payments. However, long waits are an indication of poor quality of service. To our knowledge, this analysis is the first to benefit from individual-level data from administrative registers to investigate the distribution of waiting time with respect to socioeconomic status. Furthermore, it makes use of an extensive set of medical information that serves as indicators of patient need. Differences in waiting time by socioeconomic status are detected. For men there is a statistically highly significant negative association between income and waiting time. More educated women, i.e., having an education above compulsory schooling, experience lower waiting time than their fellow sisters with the lowest level of education.

Keywords: Health; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: I10; (follow links to similar papers)

22 pages, December 20, 2010

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