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Department of Economics, Lund University Working Papers, Department of Economics, Lund University

No 2011:21:
Explaining socioeconomic inequalities in drug utilization for Sweden 2005-2006: Evidence from linked survey and register data

Martin Nordin (), Margareta Dackehag () and Ulf-G Gerdtham ()

Abstract: This study uses the Swedish register of prescribed drugs, merged with the Survey of Living Conditions (the ULF), to analyze the socioeconomic gradient in drug utilization. It finds a significant education gradient (but no income gradient) in individual drug utilization. Whereas the education gradient for men is quantitative in its orientation (education affects number of drugs used), the gradient for women is both quantitative and qualitative (education affects mean cost of drugs). For males, but not as clearly for females, the study finds that the education gradient is weaker for more health-related drugs but stronger for more expensive drugs. Our results indicate that the main reason for the education gradient in drug utilization is doctors’ behaviour rather than compliance with medication and affordability of drugs.

Keywords: health inequality; healthcare; drug utilization; income; education; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: D30; D31; I10; I12; (follow links to similar papers)

26 pages, June 20, 2011

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