Rural Health Disparities: The Political Economy
Disparate health outcomes among persons who reside in rural areas, irrespective of culture, religion or racial and ethnic composition, has been reported elsewhere, and rather abundantly in the scientific literature (Hartley 2004; Crosby, 2012). Geographical variations instigate excess morbidity and mortality in rural areas and is a phenomenality salient in both international and national settings. Hence, the need to conjure up a theoretical foundation is imminent, to identify underlying causes for persistent health disparities in this region.
This book will not echo existing research or provide a review on the plight of rural health, but rather, attempts to describe this issue from a different school of thought – the political economy. The political economy is concerned with relations between the polity, economic events and its influence on social conditions. The ideologies that manifest from this relationship precludes the economic decision-making of the polity and any subsequent policies that may permit any form of resource allocation to citizens. The relationship between both structures affects an unspoken economic arrangement, including the degree in which resources are available based on such arrangements. Given this theoretical stance, this chapter describes rural health disparities in the context of the political economy perspective.
KeywordsPolitical economy Rural health disparities Marxism Capitalism Redistribution Profit maximization Capital accumulation Laissez faire Spatial inequality Multinationals
- Clark, B. (2016). Political economy: A comparative approach (3rd ed.). Praeger: Santa Barbara.Google Scholar
- Crosby, R., Wendel, M., Vanderpool, R., & Case, B. (2012). Rural populations and health: determinants, disparities and solutions. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
- Doyal, L. (1995). What makes women sick: Gender and the political economy of health. Rutgers University Press. New Brunswick, New Jersey.Google Scholar
- Duffy, F. (2015). Marx’s political economy. Research starters: Sociology (Online Edition).Google Scholar
- Ehrenreich, N., & Lyon, B. (2011). The global politics of food: A critical overview, 43 U. Miami Inter-Am. L. Rev. Retrieved from: http://repository.law.miami.edu/umialr/vol43/iss1/3
- General Accounting Office. (2000). PESTICIDES improvements needed to ensure the safety of farmworkers and their children. Retrieved from: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/rc00040.pdf
- Hartley, D. (2004). Rural health disparities, population health, and rural culture. American Journal of Public Health, 94(10), 1675–1678.Google Scholar
- Humphrys, E., & Collerson, J. (2012). Capital against capitalism: New research in marxist political economy. Journal Of Australian Political Economy, 69, 5–10.Google Scholar
- Okuonzi, S. A. (n.d.). Political economy of health with reference to primary health care. Retrieved from: https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/bitstream/1807/6034/1/hp04008.pdf
- Sackrey, C., Schneider, G., & Knoedler, J. (2013). Introduction to the political economy (7th ed.). Boston: Economics Affairs Bureau.Google Scholar
- West, E. (1969). The political economy of alienation: Karl Marx and Adam Smith. Oxford Economic Papers, 21(1), new series, 1–23. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/2662349