Natural Hazards

, Volume 93, Issue 1, pp 167–188 | Cite as

Effects of private car ownership, economic growth and medical services on healthcare expenditure in China: a dynamic panel data analysis

  • Wei-Hua QuEmail author
  • Guo-Hua QuEmail author
  • Xin-Dong Zhang
  • Zhi-Jun Yan
Original Paper


Vehicle exhaust emissions are identified as one of the main determinants of air pollution and play an important role in the environmental sustainable improvement of countries. This research utilizes a panel data of 30 Chinese provinces during the period between 1997 and 2012 to examine the existence of inverted U-shaped relationship between public healthcare expenditure per capita and private car ownership across geographical regions (east, middle and west China) employing panel generalized method of moments estimates for robust estimates. The findings also show the income per capita significantly and positively impacts on health expenditure per capita at the national level. The other results indicate that sulfur dioxide emissions and people over age 65 significantly increase healthcare expenditure per capita except the western region; soot emissions have a significantly positive impact on public health expenditure per capita for only the whole country and the western region; the number of doctors per capita may decrease public health expenditure per capita caused by environmental pollution. These results have important policy implications for promotion of new energy vehicles and for improving air quality and medical and health services.


Private car ownership Healthcare expenditure Economic growth Panel data 



The authors would like to express their gratitude to colleagues who patiently reviewed this article. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support from Projects of Beijing Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 9152015), National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 73171113), the second Shanxi planning office of philosophy and social science “Shanxi’s economic sustainable development mechanism under supply-side structural reform,” Youth Foundation of Shanxi University of Finance and Economics (No. QN2017-007), Shanxi education science 13th five-year plan (No. GH-16046), Research on philosophy and social science of institution of higher education (No. 20172206) and special award for on Shanxi University of Finance and Economics (No. ZX-201704). Sincerely appreciate Yong-Zou, Business School, Guilin University of Technology for her doing a lot of work during the revised paper. The authors are very grateful to the anonymous referees for their constructive comments and suggestions that have led to an improved version of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Management and DecisionShanxi UniversityTaiyuanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Management Science and EngineeringShanxi University Finance and EconomicsTaiyuanPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.School of Management and EconomicsBeijing Institute of TechnologyBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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