The State of Health in Latin America: Trends and Correlates of Health Expenditures



This chapter draws on quantitative data to examine the trends and correlates of health expenditure, including overall expenditure, the public–private mix of health expenditure, and public health expenditure compared to other public expenditures in Latin American countries. This chapter sets the stage for the three country case studies. The quantitative analysis reveals that overall, public health expenditure in Latin America has been on the rise, and that World Bank conditions attached to these loans do not have a statistically significant effect on health expenditure across a variety of measures in Latin America. Does this mean that the World Bank and other international financial institutions do not matter for health financing and health sector reform in Latin America and the Caribbean? The answer is more complicated. This chapter simultaneously contradicts some established notions of IFIs acting as neoliberal agents, driving down public expenditure and programs, and establishes the possibility of a non-unitary, contingent effect of World Bank work in health across countries, confirmed in the following country case-study chapters.


Public Health Expenditure World Bank Statistics International Financial Institutions (IFIs) Health Spending Welfare statesWelfare 
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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of WyomingLaramieUSA

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