The Impact of the Indonesian Health Card Program: A Matching Estimator Approach

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Journal Article
Journal Of Health Economics, 2009, 28 (1), pp. 35 - 53
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This study evaluates the effectiveness of a pro-poor nation-wide health card program, which provides free basic health care at public health facilities in Indonesia. To quantify the effect of the program, it departs from the traditional regression-based approach in the literature. It employs propensity score matching to reduce the selection bias due to non-random health card distribution. The setting of the program and the richness of the data set support this strategy in providing accurate estimates of the program's effect on its recipients. The results indicate that, in general, the health card program only has limited impact on the consumption of primary health care by its recipients. This finding suggests the presence of other factors counteracting the generous demand incentive.
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