Can healthcare ever be less than a necessity in MENA countries? A semiparametric estimation of the relationship between healthcare expenditure and GDP

Yorulmaz Ö.

QUALITY & QUANTITY, vol.50, no.3, pp.1233-1244, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 50 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11135-015-0201-5
  • Journal Name: QUALITY & QUANTITY
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1233-1244
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


This paper considers the relationship between healthcare expenditure (HCE) and gross domestic product using Baltagi and Li (Ann Econ Financ 3:103-116, 2002) semiparametric fixed effects regression estimator in a sample of 16 MENA countries over the 1995-2012 period. Findings indicate that income elasticity is not consistent but varies with income level and healthcare is a necessity for the non-oil rich countries (non-GCC) whereas it is an inferior good for the wealthiest countries in MENA; Qatar, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait. Furthermore, it is found that the infant mortality rate per 1000 live births has a negative effect on per capita HCE in non-GCC countries and the proportion of the population age 65 and above is statistically significant in Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia.