We study the impact of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) on various macroeconomic outcomes in Thailand using synthetic control methods. Thailand is compared to a weighted average of control countries in terms of aggregate health and economic performance over the period 1995 to 2012. Our results suggest that financial protection in Thailand has improved relative to its synthetic counterfactual. While out-of-pocket payments as a percentage of overall health expenditures decreased by 16.9 percentage points, annual government per capita health spending increased by $78. However, we detect no impact on total health spending per capita nor the share of the government budget allocated to health. We find positive health impacts as captured by reductions in infant and child mortality. The introduction of UHC has had no discernible impact on GDP per capita. Our results complement micro evidence based on within country variation. The counterfactual design implemented here may be used to inform other countries on the causal repercussions and benefits of UHC at the macroeconomic level.

Additional Metadata
Keywords macroeconomic impacts, synthetic control approach, Thailand
Publisher International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/1765/78459
Series ISS Working Papers - General Series
Journal ISS Working Paper Series / General Series
Rieger, M, Wagner, N, & Bedi, A.S. (2015). Macroeconomic impacts of Universal Health Coverage : Synthetic control evidence from Thailand (No. 609). ISS Working Paper Series / General Series (Vol. 609, pp. 1–16). International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/78459