Begoña Alvarez

University of Vigo, Vigo, Galicia, Spain

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Publications (19)7.65 Total impact

  • Begoña Alvarez, Marcos Vera-Hernández
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding what drives households to seek medical services is challenging because the factors affecting the perceived benefits and costs of professional health care can be the same. In this paper, we disentangle the channels through which different factors affect the use of medical services, whether through perceived benefits and/or costs. We do this by exploiting data on why individuals have not visited a health care professional. Amongst a sample of impoverished Colombian households, we find that health knowledge reduces the use of medical services through decreasing mothers' perceived benefits of seeking professional care for ill children; birth parity, distance to health facilities and violent shocks all decrease medical care use due to increasing the perceived costs; and education decreases both the perceived benefits and costs, with no overall effect on use. We propose two specification tests, both of which our model passes, as well as a series of robustness checks.
    Journal of Health Economics 09/2013; 32(6):1194-1204. · 1.60 Impact Factor
  • Begoña Álvarez, Daniel Miles-Touya
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    ABSTRACT: Intergenerational transmission has been successfully employed in economic research to explain the persistence of certain economic behaviors across generations. This paper evaluates the relevance of this transmission process in the formation of gender roles during childhood. In particular, we analyze the relationship between parents’ and children’s housework allocation patterns. We propose a simple theoretical model that predicts that parents with a strong adherence to gender to traditional gender norms—as proxied by their division of household labor—are more likely to allocate housework to children in a way that reflects stereotypes of men’s and women’s domestic tasks. The empirical application is carried out with data from the 2002–2003 Spanish Time Use Survey. The sample restricts to two-parent households with at least one child aged 10–17 years. We find a significant positive correlation between a more egalitarian parents’ allocation of housework and a less asymmetrical distribution of domestic chores between sons and daughters.
    Review of Economics of the Household 01/2012; 10(2). · 0.64 Impact Factor
  • Begoña Alvarez, Eva Rodríguez-Míguez
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    ABSTRACT: This paper explores whether patients act according to self-interest in priority setting experiments. The analysis is based on a ranking experiment, conducted in Galicia (Spain), to elicit preferences regarding the prioritization of patients on a waiting list for an elective surgical intervention (prostatectomy for benign prostatic hyperplasia). Participants were patients awaiting a similar intervention and members of the general populations. All of them were asked to rank hypothetical patients on a waiting list. A rank-ordered logit was then applied to their responses in order to obtain a prioritization scoring system. Using these estimations, we first test for differences in preferences between patients and general population. Second, we implement a procedure based on the similarity between respondents (true patients) and the hypothetical scenarios they evaluate (hypothetical patients) to analyze whether patients provide self-interested rankings. Our results show that patient preferences differ significantly from general population preferences. The findings also indicate that, when patients rank the hypothetical scenarios on the waiting list, they consider not only the explicit attributes but also the similarity of each scenario to their own. In particular, they assign a higher priority to scenarios that more closely match their own states. We also find that such a preference structure increases their likelihood of reporting "irrational" answers.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 03/2011; 72(8):1317-24. · 2.73 Impact Factor
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    Eva Rodríguez, Begoña Alvarez, Pilar Abad
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    ABSTRACT: This paper analyzes the main policy initiatives for improving waiting lists in health care. The authors begin by describing strategies to reduce either waiting time or length of the list. They distinguish between demand-side and supply-side strategies. They proceed to discuss policies for improving the "quality" of waiting time. For each policy, they present both the expected effect and the indirect effects that can reduce its effectiveness for improving waiting list conditions.
    Cadernos de Saúde Pública 04/2008; 24(3):702-7. · 0.83 Impact Factor
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    Eva Rodríguez, Begoña Álvarez, Pilar Abad
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    ABSTRACT: This paper analyzes the main policy initiatives for improving waiting lists in health care. The authors begin by describing strategies to reduce either waiting time or length of the list. They distinguish between demand-side and supply- side strategies. They proceed to discuss policies for improving the "quality" of waiting time. For each policy, they present both the expected effect and the indirect effects that can reduce its effec- tiveness for improving waiting list conditions.
    Cadernos De Saude Publica - CAD SAUDE PUBLICA. 01/2008; 24(3).
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    Marcos Vera-Hernandez, B. Alvarez
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper we provide a model and data structure to identify the determinants of health care use by low income children, and the channels through which they operate. The most distinguishing feature of our approach is that we decompose the decision to use health care into three stages. The first stage determines whether a child is ill or requires preventive care. Conditional on the first stage, the second stage determines whether the mother perceives that professional health care will provide positive gross benefits. Conditional on the second stage, the third stage determines the use of health care by comparing the perceived benefits and costs. The advantage of our approach is that variables can influence each stage differently. The econometric model, trivariate Probit with endogenous selection, is estimated by simulated maximum likelihood using the GHK simulator with antithetics. The data comes from the survey to evaluate the Colombian Conditional Cash Transfer Program (Familias en Accion). We find that children living in towns with higher prevalence of violence are in higher need of health care but violence decreases the probability that the child will use health care conditional of the mother perceiving that health care will provide positive gross benefits. We also find that knowledge about self-care (measured by the percentage of women in the village that knows how to treat diarrhoea and by mother's education) decreases the probability that the mother perceives positive gross profits of obtaining health care. When we estimate a standard Probit model of health care use that does not decompose the decision to use health care into different stages, these variables do not seem to influence health care use. This occurs because the variables have effects of opposite signs in different stages and hence the positive effects in one stage compensates with the negative effects on other stages. Consequently, it is crucial to model the different stages of health care use to unmask the relations that standard models hide.
    06/2007;
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    Begoña Álvarez, Daniel Miles
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we investigate the effect of a woman’s decision to enter paid employment on her husband’s contribution to domestic work. To explore this issue, we analyze cross-sectional data on Spanish couples. Our results suggest that female decision to participate in the labor market increases husbands’housework time. However, these estimates may be subject to an omitted variable bias due to both the joint nature of time allocation decisions within the household and the correlation between unobservables. Once we take into account this endogeneity problem, we find a larger impact of the wife’s labor status.
    Investigaciones Economicas. 02/2006; 30(1):5-31.
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    ABSTRACT: Las listas de espera son el mecanismo habitual de racionamiento de la demanda en los sistemas nacionales de salud. Cuando no existe urgencia médica, el criterio habitualmente utilizado para su gestión es el tiempo de espera. Aspectos como la intensidad de los síntomas o las limitaciones sociales que la enfermedad le provoca al paciente no son tenidas en cuenta. En este artículo se propone la gestión de la listas de espera de prostatectomía a través de un sistema de puntos basado en las preferencias sociales. Los resultados muestran que tanto las variables clínicas como las variables sociales son importantes a la hora de priorizar pacientes que esperan esta intervención. Asimismo, se detectan algunas diferencias entre las preferencias de los pacientes y de la población general.
    Hacienda pública española, ISSN 0210-1173, Nº 179, 2006, pags. 113-134. 01/2006;
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    Begoña Álvarez, Daniel Miles
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper we study the reasons behind the asymmetric distribution of housework within Spanish two-earner couples. Spouses' housework times are estimated jointly in a bivariate framework using data from the 1991 Work Situation and Time Use Survey. In order to understand the impact of gender-specific factors on the observed allocation of housework, we perform estimations that are in line with the Oaxaca decomposition. Our results suggest that the unequal division of domestic work between wives and husbands in our sample is mainly explained by gender-specific effects rather than by differences in their observable characteristics. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003
    Journal of Population Economics 01/2003; 16(2):227-242. · 0.92 Impact Factor
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    Begoña Alvarez
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    ABSTRACT: Combining family and work demands has become a tough challenge for many workers in modern societies. Using data from a random sample of Spanish employees, this paper investigates the effects of attending to family health needs on work absence decisions of working individuals. The estimates reveal that men and women respond in a different way to several forces influencing work absence due to family illness. The analysis also shows that workers declaring to have used working time to attend to ill relatives are more prone to report sickness absence episodes. Estimates from bivariate probit equations shows that controlling for endogeneity removes this relationship for men, but the effect of absence due to family illness on sickness absence reporting remains positive and significant for women, leaving room for causal explanations.
    10/2002;
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    Begoña Álvarez
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    ABSTRACT: This paper examines the approach to consumption of medicines in interview-based surveys across seven countries of the European Union. The goals of the study are to provide information on the accurateness of different surveys for microeconomic analysis of pharmaceutical demand offered by Household Budget Surveys and National Health Surveys, and to illustrate the limitations of these data sources in cross-population comparability of information.
    01/2002;
  • Begoña Álvarez, Miguel A. Delgado
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    ABSTRACT: This paper compares the practical performance of alternative goodness-of-fit techniques for count data models in the context of a study of the determinants of demand for dental care in Spain. We apply alternative goodness-of-fit techniques to different specifications. In particular, we implement recently proposed specification tests which are consistent in the direction of general nonparametric alternatives. The analysis suggests that a negative binomial model is an appropriate specification for dental care demand. Dental health and income are identified as important predictors of individuals' behavior.
    Empirical Economics 01/2002; 27(3):543-567. · 0.60 Impact Factor
  • Begoña Álvarez
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    ABSTRACT: Corruption in the public sector erodes tax compliance and leads to higher tax evasion. Moreover, corrupt public officials abuse their public power to extort bribes from the private agents. In both types of interaction with the public sector, the private agents are bound to face uncertainty with respect to their disposable incomes. To analyse effects of this uncertainty, a stochastic dynamic growth model with the public sector is examined. It is shown that deterministic excessive red tape and corruption deteriorate the growth potential through income redistribution and public sector inefficiencies. Most importantly, it is demonstrated that the increase in corruption via higher uncertainty exerts adverse effects on capital accumulation, thus leading to lower growth rates.
    Investigaciones Económicas 01/2001; 25(1):93-138. · 0.33 Impact Factor
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    Begoña Alvarez, Miguel A. Delgado
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    ABSTRACT: Materia: This paper presents model specification checking procedures for count data regression models which are consistent in the direction of nonparametric alternatives. The discussion is motivated in the context of a model of demand for health care in Spain. The parameters of the regression model are estimated by maximun likelihood based on Poisson and Negative Binomial specifications as well as by ordinary least squares and semiparametric generalized least squeares. The test statistics are based on marked empirical processes which are not distribution free, but their critical values are well approximated by bootstrap. Such test are valid for testing the functional form of the conditional mean and conditional probabilities resulting from alternative distributional specifications. In our health care demand model, the linear exponential regression model with a Negative Binomial seems to be appropiate for this data set.
    01/1997;
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    Begoña Alvarez, Daniel Miles
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we investigate the effect of a woman's decision to enter paid employment on their husband's contribution to domestic work. To explore this issue, we analyze cross-sectional data on Spanish couples. Our results suggest that this decision to participate in the labor market increases husbands' housework time. However, these estimates may be subject to an omitted variable bias due to the correlation between unobservable variables, e.g., social norms, determining both decisions. Once we take into account this endogeneity problem, we find a larger impact of the wife's labor status on the husband's contribution to housework.
    Documentos de traballo ( Universidade de Vigo. Departamento de Economía Aplicada ), Nº. 2, 2004.
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    Begoña Alvarez, Eva Rodríguez Míguez
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    ABSTRACT: This paper provides empirical evidence on the biasing effects of self-interest on patients' stated preferences in a priority setting experiment. The analysis is based on a choice experiment to elicit preferences on the prioritization of patients on a waiting list for a non-urgent surgical intervention. We implement a procedure to test the existence of self-interest based on the similarity between respondents and the hypothetical scenarios they have to evaluate. Our findings indicate that when patients rank the hypothetical scenarios on the waiting list, they consider not only the explicit attributes described in each card but also the similarity of each scenario to their own. In particular, they assign a higher priority to those scenarios that better mimic their own states. Furthermore, we find that patients show a higher probability of providing "irrational" rankings than general public participants. The degree of similarity between the respondent patient and the dominated scenario partially explains this result.
    Documentos de traballo ( Universidade de Vigo. Departamento de Economía Aplicada ), Nº. 3, 2009.
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    Begoñá Alvarez, Daniel Miles
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    ABSTRACT: Empirical evidence from developed countries consistently shows that, despite the increasing female participation in paid labor, women remain responsible for most of household duties. The aim of this paper is to investigate the extent to which this gender-effect explains the unequal distribution of housework between working spouses in Spanish. Data come from the Work Situation and Time Use Survey carried out by the Spanish Instituto de la Mujer in 1991. We model housework allocation between spouses assuming wives' and husbands' housework times are generated by a bivariate negative binomial distribution, conditional on a set of observable characteristics, such as paid labor conditions, education or the presence of children at home. To go further the gender-effect, we carry out estimations that amount to an Oaxaca decomposition performed on the proposed bivariate specification. Our results highlight the lack of symmetry in partners' housework structures. This suggests that an important part of the division of labor between spouses is independent of the differences in their observable characteristics and that it depends on gender specific effects.
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    Begoña Álvarez, Marcos Vera-Hernández
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper we provide a model and data structure to identify the determinants of health care use by low income children, and the channels through which they operate. The most distinguishing feature of our approach is that we decompose the decision to use health care into three stages. The advantage of our approach is that variables can influence each stage differently. We find that children living in towns with higher preva- lence of violence are in higher need of health care but violence decreases the probability that the child will use health care conditional of the mother perceiving that health care will provide positive gross benefits. We also find that knowledge about self-care (measured by the percentage of women in the village that knows how to treat diarrhoea and by mother's education) decreases the probability that the mother perceives positive gross profits of obtaining health care. These relations are unmasked if we use a standard Probit model.
  • Source
    Begoña Alvarez, Daniel Miles
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Intergenerational transmission has been successfully employed in economic research to explain the persistence of certain economic behaviors across generations. This paper evaluates the relevance of this transmission process in the formation of gender roles during childhood. In particular, we analyze the relationship betwen parents' and children's housework allocation patterns. The empirical application is carried out with the Spanish Time Use Survey 2002-2003. We find a significant positive correlation between the fathers' contribution to housework and a less asymmetrical distribution of domestic chores between sons and daughters. This correlation is robust to the inclusion of variables aimed at capturing social externalities and also to different definitions of father's involvement with household labor.
    Documentos de traballo ( Universidade de Vigo. Departamento de Economía Aplicada ), Nº. 6, 2009.