Hou, Xiaohui

Health, Nutrition and Population, East Asia and Pacific Region, World Bank
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Fields of Specialization
health economics; social safety nets; poverty
Health, Nutrition and Population, East Asia and Pacific Region, World Bank
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Last updated: January 31, 2023
Hou, Xiaohui is a Senior Economist in the World Bank.  Joined as a Young Professional, she has since worked in Human Development department and Poverty Reduction and Economic Management department across the East Europe and Central Asia region, the South Asia region, and most recently the East Asia and Pacific region.  She also spent a number of years in the World Bank Institute, the capacity building arm of the World Bank, focusing on face to face training and network development.  Her fields include health economics, social safety net, labor economics and impact evaluation. She has published a dozen of papers in both economics and medical peer reviewed journals. She also teaches as a visiting scholar. A Peking University graduate, she obtained her Ph.D. in the Health Services and Policy Analysis and a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master’s degree in Health Policy and Administration from the Washington State University. 
Citations 44 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
  • Publication
    The Emergence of Proprietary Medical Facilities in China
    (2008) Hou, X.
    This paper analyzes the evolution and development of market conditions and government policies that have favored the emergence of proprietary medical facilities in China. Excess and differentiated demand for medical services, the existent profitability and supply of the investment capital in health care market, and favorable government policies have encouraged the entrance of proprietary facilities in health care market. The paper further analyzes why nonprofit health organizations are not an optimal organizational form in the current Chinese health care market. After discussing the strengths and weaknesses of proprietary ownership in health care market in China, the paper concludes with important managerial and policy suggestions.
  • Publication
    Can Drought Increase Total Calorie Availability? The Impact of Drought on Food Consumption and the Mitigating Effects of a Conditional Cash Transfer Program
    (2010) Hou, Xiaohui
    This study uses the panel data of a randomized experiment from the Mexican PROGRESA program to evaluate the impact of drought on total calorie availability and the mitigating effects of PROGRESA on food consumption in periods of drought. Drought reduced total expenditures and total food expenditures but increased the total availability of calories. This paradox can be explained by the impact of drought on the composition of calories; that is, it reduced the consumption of expensive calories in such foods as vegetables, fruits, and animal products but increased calories consumed from cheaper sources, such as grains. This study finds that PROGRESA can completely mitigate the negative effects of drought on calorie availability from vegetables, fruits, and other sources. However, PROGRESA cannot mitigate the impact of drought on calories available from grains. The analysis also shows that, during drought, households who increase their consumption of grains get them mainly from purchased sources rather than from home production. In these circumstances, decreased total expenditures and increased purchases of grains suggest that grains are inferior goods in rural Mexico. The Engel curve analysis further proves that grains are inferior goods.
  • Publication
    Wealth: Crucial but Not Sufficient--Evidence from Pakistan on Economic Growth, Child Labour and Schooling
    (2010) Hou, Xiaohui
    This study uses cross-sectional time-series data to examine the relationship between wealth and child labour and schooling in Pakistan and finds that wealth is crucial in determining a child's activities, but is far from being a sufficient condition to enrol a child in school. This is particularly the case for rural girls. Nonparametric analysis shows a universal increase in school enrolment for rural girls from 1998-2006 and this increase is independent of wealth. Multinomial logit regression further shows that wealth is insignificant in determining households' decisions about rural girls' activity. Thus, interventions to increase school enrolment should incorporate broadly targeted, demand-side interventions as well as supply-side interventions.
  • Publication
    Targeted or Untargeted? The Initial Assessment of a Targeted Health Insurance Program for the Poor in Georgia
    (2011) Hou, X.
    The government of Georgia launched a Medical Insurance Program, a targeted health insurance program, in June 2006 to provide health insurance to the poor. Using administrative data from June 2006 to December 2006, this paper estimates the initial impact of the Medical Insurance Program relative to an untargeted health insurance program and assesses whether the benefits have reached the poorest among those eligible. The paper presents two main findings: first, the Medical Insurance Program has significantly increased beneficiaries' utilization of public health insurance for acute surgeries and inpatient services; and second, the benefits have reached the poorest among the beneficiaries. However, the findings are only applicable to the first six months of implementation and more analysis is required to understand the dynamics and long term impact of the reform.
  • Publication
    Symposium on Health Economics Issues in China: The Role of For-Profit Hospitals in Medical Expenditures: Evidence from Aggregate Data in China
    (2009) Liu, Gordon G.; Li, Lin; Hou, Xiaohui; Xu, Judy; Hyslop, Daniel
    The health care delivery system in China, which is dominated by state hospitals, is being increasingly challenged by public concerns: it is too expensive and too inaccessible, a complaint commonly phrased as "kai bin nan, kan bin gui" in Chinese. As the penetration of for-profit hospitals has gradually increased, there is a growing need for policy research to assess their impact on medical spending from the patient perspective. Using panel data at the provincial level in China, this paper examines the impact of the penetration of for-profit hospitals on average medical expenditures for both outpatient and inpatient services in public general hospitals. Based on fixed-effect model estimates, the study shows that the penetration of for-profit hospitals has lowered the average medical expenditures for both inpatient and outpatient services across regions, especially for pharmaceuticals. Together with other results, this study finds no evidence that private for-profit hospitals drive up average medical expenditures while serving their profit-maximization objectives. Rather, they help increase the market supply of health care, which in turn better serves the increasing demand.