Remittances and Healthcare Expenditure Patterns of Populations in Origin Communities: Evidence from Mexico

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Feb 2007
Workers's remittances to Mexico represent one of Mexico's most important sources of foreign income, only second to petroleum sales. This paper attempts to measure the elasticity or responsiveness of healthcare use to remittances. Do remittances increase healthcare use by a large or a small percent? Is the responsiveness of healthcare use to remittances dependent on the type of healthcare being sought-whether it is for financing routine healthcare purchases, or hospitalization? This study may help inform Mexican policy-makers on the role of the repatriated incomes from Mexican migrants in the US in affecting healthcare expenses of family members left back home.