Title: Essays on the economics of women’s health

Candidate: Aarushi

Time and Date: 9am, Friday 16th of July

Zoom link: https://uqz.zoom.us/j/88456634001


My thesis consists of three chapters that focus on the Economics of Women’s Health.

Chapter 1 focuses on measuring inequity in less utilised health services, in particular, assisted reproductive technology (ART). This study fills a gap in the literature by focusing on income-related inequity in the use and financing of ART in Australia. It implements a novel approach, Penalised Maximum Likelihood Estimator, to overcome the issue that arises when the outcome variable has a low mean. We use two sources of rich data, survey data, and linked administrative data to measure inequity. Our results indicate that there is pro-rich inequity in the use of ART services for years 2009 and 2012, and the financing is progressive for the years 2009 and 2012. A policy change in 2010, is relevant to our discussion.

Chapter 2 will use a novel econometric threshold approach to evaluate a relationship between medical expenditure and body mass index (BMI) and analyse how it varies at different BMI thresholds. This will add to the literature, which generally assumes the current categories of underweight, normal, overweight, and obese are appropriate. We hypothesise that, in fact, these thresholds may differ, depending on the health outcome under discussion. Specifically, we will evaluate the heterogeneity in the response of medical expenditure to type 2 diabetes, at different BMI thresholds.

Chapter 3 will develop a population base dynamic microsimulation model focusing on obesity and overweight for Australian women. This model will first be used to estimate the prevalence of overweight and obesity up to 2030, and then to quantify the future economic burden and health cost of this disease, under multiple scenarios and changing risk factors.