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Public programs and the incidence and consequences of health shocks: Evidence from a vulnerability survey in Laos

Sponsor: Human Development Network

Public programs and the incidence and consequences of health shocks: Evidence from a vulnerability survey in Laos
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
12:30 - 2:00PM
MC C1-100

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 Course Description Agenda & Course Materials Related Links Participants/ Evaluation Results  

Part of the Making Health Systems Work – for the Poor seminar series

Presenter:
Adam Wagstaff
Research Manager, DECRG

In the developing world, where health insurance and social protection systems are typically weak, households often dread health shocks more than any other. Much of our evidence on health shocks comes, however, from qualitative work or empirical work that utilizes household surveys that were not designed specifically to shed light on shocks and households' vulnerability to them.

This presentation uses data from a household designed specifically to understand vulnerability to health and other shocks. The survey was fielded in Laos, a country with very limited coverage by health insurance and social protection programs.

We compare the incidence of health shocks to other shocks, and their distribution across the wealth distribution. We also present evidence on the coping strategies employed, including the support provided by public programs. We report households' own assessments of the impacts of health and other shocks on consumption in general and food consumption in particular, and go on to assess the degree to which coping strategies helped cushion against the financial consequences of shocks. We report households' own assessments of the duration of the shocks and the degree to which they had recovered from the shocks at the time of the interview, as well as households' assessments of the impacts of health shocks on health status itself, distinguishing between the immediate and longer-term impacts. Finally, we try to assess the effectiveness of different public programs in moderating the impacts of health shocks.

Click here for more information on the Making Health Systems Work - For the Poor seminar series


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