Educational expansion and health disparities in Ethiopia, 2005-2016.

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Summary of "Educational expansion and health disparities in Ethiopia, 2005-2016."

Research shows that basic education improves population health, yet it remains unclear whether the expansion of primary education decreases health disparities. In this paper, I assess whether disparities in healthcare utilization decreased in conjunction with educational expansion among women of reproductive age in Ethiopia. Healthcare utilization rates in low-resource countries are often confounded with simultaneous developments in education and access to basic healthcare. Using decomposition of rates, I first disentangle the changes in health disparities induced by educational expansion from the overall increase in healthcare utilization. Then, I use the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition method to investigate the determinants of disparities in healthcare utilization and how these determinants changed over a 10-year period as primary education became more prevalent. Overall, disparities in healthcare utilization in Ethiopia decreased over time, yet the association between educational expansion and health disparities varies by region. Literacy explains much of the disparities in healthcare utilization, yet it loses significance over time as primary education becomes widespread. Economic factors remain persistent sources of disparities, and non-financial barriers such as the distance to travel and women's ability to travel alone become more significant. Heterogeneity in healthcare utilization across regions has distinct implications for how educational expansion may shift health disparities.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Social science & medicine (1982)
ISSN: 1873-5347
Pages: 112316


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