Socioeconomic determinants and health care utilization among elderly people living in Europe: Evidence from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement.
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This paper examines health care utilization among elderly people in sixteen European countries using the last wave of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). Negative Binominal regression is conducted to study the main driving factors behind health care utilization (visits to the General Practitioners, GP; Hospital Stays, HS). The empirical results suggest that age, gender, education level, self-assessed health, health limitations and status and other socioeconomic variables are the main driving factors. We also show that socioeconomic variables do not play the same role in every country. From a policy economic approach, we propose important information to the current debates both in the health economics and social welfare literature. Our findings are relevant and have several implications for policy purposes to enhance efficiency, equity and quality of health care that it can be provided.