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Analysis on Factors Affecting Demand for Health of the Elderly in China

Author: YangJun
Tutor: SunXu
School: Dongbei University of Finance
Course: Statistics
Keywords: Grossman’s heath capital demand theory Principal component analysis Binary logistic model
CLC: D669.6
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 8
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Abstract


The18th National People’s Congress pointed out that making the people enjoy a healthy and rich spiritual and cultural life is an important content for building a prosperous society moderately, and that health is the necessary requirement to promote the comprehensive development of the people. With the social development and people’s living standards improving, Chinese people’s health has improved greatly. But our country is facing the problem of an aging population currently. According to China’s annual statistical survey data, people over the age of45account for34.24percent of the total population, that is to say, three people in every ten people has entered the ranks of the elderly in2011. The health of the middle-aged and elderly is a "vulnerable groups" in the health field. With increasing age, their bodies begin to decline in various functions, their immunity begin to reduce and risk of illness began to rise, resulting in the prevalence of various diseases increasing, which not only brings the heavy economic burden to families and society, but also leads to many families poverty caused by illness or poverty reinstatement due to illness. Therefore, demand for health of the middle-aged and elderly can not be neglected.This paper is an empirical economic study in the effect of factors on demand for health of the middle-aged and elderly for the first time, which is based on Grossman’s heath capital demand theory, using the data of China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Survey in2011.Then we compare the differences between urban and rural samples, male and females samples to further explore influencing mechanism of various determinants on the demand for health of the middle-aged and elderly. Study indicates the regression results of level of education, age, whether to participate in medical insurance, income and other factors affecting the demand for health are consistent with Grossman’s theoretical predictions.Firstly, we have reviewed the demand for health in human capital theory, the Grossman’s heath capital demand model, the meaning and measure of health and the domestic and foreign research on factors affecting demand for health. Then we have made a comprehensive measure of health indicators by the improved principal component analysis, made descriptive analysis about the distribution of health status of the middle-aged and elderly, and have analyzed the various relationships between variables and health. The last part is the empirical research and analysis.Overall sample regression result has showed that education, marital status family size, the self-rated health status before age of15(including15years), participating in the work, income, medical insurance, the type of toilets in community and other factors have significant positive effects on the demand for health of the elderly, while age, distance to the nearest medical institution form their communities, not participate in the work, not participate in medical insurance have significant negative effects on the demand for health of the middle-aged and elderly. And health status of middle-aged and elderly population living in urban areas is better than those living in rural areas.Urban and rural sample regression results have showed that marital status has a different influence on health of middle-aged and elderly who live in urban and rural areas, that is to say, marital status has a significant positive effect on the health of middle-aged and elderly who live in urban areas, while has a positive but not significant effect on the health of middle-aged and elderly who live in rural areas. The health service variables (including distance to the nearest medical institution form their communities and the type of toilet in communities) has no significant effect on the health of middle-aged and elderly who live in urban areas, while has affected the health of middle-aged and elderly who live in rural areas significantly.Male and female sample regression results have showed that both education and income have significant positive effects on the health of male, while have no significant effect on female.Some suggestions are given according to the empirical results. Recommendations for policy makers:to improve the level of health education for the middle-aged and elderly, especially for those living in rural areas; to develop the rural economy and improve rural health and medical resources availability vigorously. Recommendations for the older age groups:to make full use of functions of family and pay attention to marriage; to raise awareness of aging on the body and respond to aging actively.

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