Abstract: Healthcare payments could drive households with no health insurance coverage into financial catastrophe, which might lead them to cut spending on necessities, sell assets, or use credit. In extreme cases, healthcare payments could have devastating consequences on the household economic status that would push them into extreme poverty. Using nationally representative surveys from three Arab countries, namely, Egypt, Jordan, and Palestine, this paper examines the incidence, intensity and distribution of catastrophic health payments, and assesses the poverty impact of out-of-pocket health payments (OOP). The OOP for hhealthcare were considered catastrophic if it exceeded 10% of a household’s total expenditure or 40% of non-food expenditure. The poverty impact was evaluated using poverty head counts and poverty gaps before and after OOP. Results show that OOP exacerbate households’ living severely in Egypt, pushing more than one-fifth of the population into a financial catastrophe and 3% into extreme poverty in 2011. However, in Jordan and Palestine, the disruptive impact of OOP remains modest over time. In the three countries, the catastrophic health payment is the problem of the better off households. Poverty alleviation policies should help reduce the reliance on OOP to finance healthcare. Moving toward universal health coverage could also be a promising option to protect households from the catastrophic economic consequences of health care payments.
Abstract: How does a redistribution of trade gains affect welfare when income inequality matters? To answer this question, we extend the  model to unionized labor markets and heterogeneous workers. As redistribution schemes, we consider unemployment benefits that are financed either by a wage tax, a payroll tax or a profit tax. Assuming that welfare declines in income inequality, we find that welfare increases up to a maximum in the case of wage tax funding, while welfare declines weakly (sharply) if a profit tax (payroll tax) is implemented. These effects are caused by the wage tax neutrality (due to union wage setting) and by a profit tax-induced decline in long-term unemployment. As a result, the government’s optimal redistribution scheme is to finance unemployment benefits by a wage tax.
Abstract: This study investigates the impact of different schooling dimensions (primary, secondary and tertiary) on the intensity of intra-state conflicts in 25 African states during the period 1989–2008. It uses fixed-effects and Generalized Methods of Moments (GMM) estimators in an annualized panel data framework. Parameter estimates suggest the following (1) primary schooling broadly mitigates conflicts in Africa. However, in environments with high natural resource rents, it could ignite conflicts; (2) there is evidence, although not overwhelming, that secondary schooling potentially drives conflicts in Africa. There is also evidence that urbanization potentially drives conflicts in Africa. However, although secondary schooling and urbanization potentially drives conflicts, in environments where secondary schooling (urbanization) is high, urbanization (secondary schooling) mitigates conflicts; (3) there is no evidence of a strong direct positive impact of tertiary education on conflicts and conditioning on tertiary schooling, income inequality potentially drives conflicts in African states. However, in contexts where income inequality (tertiary schooling) is high, tertiary schooling (inequality) mitigates conflict. Two important policy implications follow from this study. First, in contexts where income inequality is high (for instance, in South Africa), governments should strive to foster tertiary education in order to reduce conflict. Second, where urbanization rates are high, they should foster both secondary and tertiary education. This study contributes to existing knowledge by clearly demonstrating the utility of distinguishing between different educational dimensions and the contexts wherein they matter for conflict mitigation in Africa.
Abstract: Applicability of Wagner’s hypothesis to six East Asian countries is studied for a period of nearly a half-century during which their economic growth has often been termed as a “miracle”. Despite the high rates of growth in most cases, there is little indication to support the hypothesis except for Japan and possibly Korea. This finding is broadly supported by a variety of tests of cointegration using time-series as well as panel data.
Abstract: Economies is entering its third year of existence and an impressive amount of high-quality research has already been published. It is fair to say that Economies has already established itself as an international, peer-reviewed, open access journal. [...]