Rising inequality and the implications for the future of private insurance in Canada.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Health Econ Policy Law, Volume 13, Issue 3-4, p.406-432 (2018)


<p>Income and wealth inequality have risen in Canada since its low point in the 1980s. Over that same period we have also seen an increase in the amount that Canadians spend on privately financed health care, both directly and through private health insurance. This paper will explore the relationship between these two trends using both comparative data across jurisdictions and household-level data within Canada. The starting hypothesis is that the greater the level of inequality the more difficult it becomes for publicly provided insurance to satisfy the median voter. Thus, we should expect increased pressure to access privately financed alternatives as inequality increases. In the light of these implications, the paper considers the implications for the future of private insurance in Canada.</p>

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