Socioeconomic Determinants of Life Expectancy: Southeastern European Countries
Keywords:Panel data analysis, Life Expectancy, Public Health, SEE Countries
This paper analyses the socioeconomic determinants of life expectancy in Southeastern Europe countries highlighting the most important factors that can affect life expectancy in this part of Europe.
Two Panel Data Regression with fixed–effects model was applied for 20 years from 2000 to 2019. Eight socioeconomic and environmental explanatory variables were used to verify their influence on life expectancy.
The analysis highlights the important influence of factors such as urbanization; GDP per capita; fertility rate; education; marital status; CO2 emission and the non-significant influence of other factors, such as health expenditure or health care out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure. This study points out that healthcare spending (public and/or household out-of-pocket spending) is not a significant factor in improving life expectancy in SEE countries. Results illustrate that GDP per capita; urbanization, CO2 emissions, and fertility rate are the most influential and significant explanatory factors. A surprising result concerns marital status, which in this study affects life expectancy inversely in one of the panel regressions.
Life expectancy is a very important and expressive outcome indicator for public health. Each country is committed to spending public money to improve people's quality of life, which translates into a longer life (Life expectancy), or even better, a longer and healthier life (Health Adjusted Life Expectancy). The results of this study, considering the demographic development of the SEE countries (low fertility rate and aged people), show that policymakers need to consider public healthcare organization and reassess the effectiveness of public health expenditure. On the other hand, the balanced urbanization process with a clean ecosystem (less CO2 emissions) conducts a better life quality (consequently an improved life expectancy).
Keywords: Panel data analysis; Life Expectancy; Public Health; SEE Countries
Jel Classification: C33; H51; I15
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