The Correlation between Economic Convergence and Health Indices in Developed Countries

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Tehran University of Medical Sciences

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Background: Economic convergence signifies diminishing income disparities among global or regional economies and their eventual disappearance. It is also linked to economic growth and key health indicators. We aimed to assess the association between economic convergence and key health indicators in developed countries called G7 (USA, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, and Canada). Methods: We examined G7 health and economic indicators from 2000 to 2021 using panel data analysis. We compared balanced and unbalanced panel datasets to address missing data and applied suitable methods to handle missing health indicators. Results: Little's MCAR test (X2 = 3.2872, P ? value = 0.3494) confirmed random missing data in the unbalanced panel, enabling us to impute missing values as missing observations were below 5%. Unit root tests on balanced and unbalanced panel data validated the health convergence hypothesis, showing no unit roots in economic growth rate, current health expenditure, and female and male population indicators (P<0.05). Interestingly, the hypothesis for hospital bed counts in the unbalanced panel, differing from the balanced panel, offers new insights into addressing incomplete health data. Conclusion: While G7 have economic similarities, their health indicators diverge (excluding hospital bed counts). Variations in health indicators stem from healthcare system structures, funding mechanisms, resource allocation, and health investments, even among economies of similar size. Therefore, G7 member states should develop tailored national health policies based on their specific circumstances and priorities, utilizing economic convergence data for effective health resource planning. © 2024 Mutlu et al. Published by Tehran University of Medical Sciences.


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Economic convergence, Health key indicators, Panel unit root


Iranian Journal of Public Health

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