Person:
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
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Health, Nutrition and Population, East Asia and Pacific Region, World Bank
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Last updated: January 31, 2023
Biography
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 - 6 of 6
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Stagnant Stunting Rate Despite Rapid Economic Growth in Papua New Guinea: Factors Correlated with Malnutrition among Children under Five

2015-06, Hou, Xiaohui

Maternal and child undernutrition is a pervasive and detrimental condition in Papua New Guinea. Despite rapid economic growth during the past decade, the stunting rate for children under 5, one of the primary indicators for child undernutrition, was estimated at 46 percent in Papua New Guinea in 2010, stagnant from 44 percent in 2005. This paper analyzes the association between the demographic, socioeconomic, environmental, and health-related factors on nutritional status for children under age 5 years, using the 2009–10 Papua New Guinea Household Income and Expenditure Survey. Stunting and underweight rates sharply rise in the first 24 months. Even in the better-off quintiles, children suffer from suboptimal breastfeeding and complementary food in the first 24 months. In general, the regression results showed that household wealth and geographic location are crucial factors that contribute to children’s malnutrition. More importantly, food quality, measured by protein intake, has significant predicting power on child malnutrition. Broadly increasing socioeconomic status and improving the quantity and quality of caloric intake are general steps to improving health outcomes in Papua New Guinea. In addition, three key areas were identified as critical to alleviating the persistent and detrimental stunting rate in the country: (1) exclusive breastfeeding and complementary food; (2) interventions by health workers; and (3) nutrition education.

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Financing the Frontline in Papua New Guinea: An Analytical Review of Provincial Administrations' Rural Health Expenditure 2006-2012

2015-09, Cairns, Alan, Hou, Xiaohui

Financing the Frontline updates the expenditure analysis carried out in Below the Glass Floor (2013) and tests whether the spending patterns emerging in 2009 and 2010 in Papua New Guinea have been sustained or improved in 2011 and 2012. The review also supports a better understanding of the issues that confront frontline service delivery — such as the ambiguity of roles and responsibilities in some rural health functions — and proposes next steps. Concurrently, the National Department of Health performance information on facilities (from the National Health Information System) has been reviewed. The integration of the expenditure analysis, the NHIS performance information and the findings from the Promoting Effective Public Expenditure facility surveys will provide a rich source of information to help sharpen understanding and shape solutions.

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A Snapshot of Health Equity in Papua New Guinea: An Analysis of the 2010 Household Income and Expenditure Survey

2015-06, Irava, Wayne, Barker, Katie, Somanathan, Aparnaa, Hou, Xiaohui

This paper highlights challenges that the government of Papua New Guinea faces in delivering equitable health care. It analyses findings from the 2010 household survey, including sickness reporting, health service utilization and out of pocket expenditure, concluding that the poorest quintile is most vulnerable to illness, yet has the lowest utilization rates of healthcare facilities. The lack of healthcare workers and the distance to facilities are among the most dominant reasons cited for not utilizing healthcare facilities in the poorest quintile while out-of-pocket payments have minimal catastrophic impact, yet have still been found to be a barrier to utilization. The paper also sets out policy implications of these findings, including the need for the government to focus on, and prioritize, strengthening the health services delivery to achieve universal health coverage.

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A Snapshot of Health Equity in Papua New Guinea: An Analysis of the 2010 Household Income and Expenditure Survey

2015-05, Irava, Wayne, Barker, Katie, Somanathan, Aparnaa, Hou, Xiaohui

In Papua New Guinea the poorest quintile is most vulnerable to illness, yet has the lowest utilization rates of healthcare facilities. When looking at age groups the elderly ( 55) are the most vulnerable to illness and the least likely to seek treatment. The lack of healthcare workers and the distance to facilities are among the most dominant reasons cited for not utilizing heath care in the poorest quintile. The perceived quality of services is a barrier to health care utilization across all quintiles. Out-of-pocket (OOP) payments have minimal catastrophic impact, yet have been found to still be a barrier to utilization - especially amongst the poorest quintile. The government should focus on and prioritize strengthening the health services delivery to achieve universal health coverage.

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Determinants of Tobacco Consumption in Papua New Guinea: Challenges in Changing Behaviors

2015-06, Hou, Xiaohui, Anderson, Ian

This paper analyzes smoking prevalence and smoking behaviors in Papua New Guinea. Using the 2009–10 Papua New Guinea Household Income and Expenditure Survey, the paper analyzes the determinants of tobacco use and tobacco choices in Papua New Guinea. The results show that adults (18 years and above) in the poorest quartile are more likely to smoke. Tobacco consumption imposes a large financial burden to poor households. Tobacco consumption accounts for about 23 percent of total household food expenditure for households in the poorest quartile, compared with 15 percent for the entire sample. However, most of these households consume non-processed tobacco. The study reveals the urgency to control tobacco consumption in Papua New Guinea and considers some practical challenges that the country may face.

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An Evaluation of the Initial Impact of the Medical Assistance Program for the Poor in Georgia

2008-04, Hou, Xiaohui

As part of the recent health reform effort, the government of Georgia launched a Medical Assistance Program in June 2006 to provide health insurance to its poor population. So far the program covers slightly over 50 percent of the poor and provides benefit coverage for outpatient and inpatient care. This paper estimates initial impact of the Medical Assistance Program and assesses whether the benefits have reached the poorest among those eligible, using utilization data from June 2006 to December 2006. Based on the analysis using a regression discontinuity design and a three-part model, the paper presents two main findings. First, the Medical Assistance Program has significantly increased utilization of acute surgeries/inpatient services by the poor. Second, the benefits have successfully reached the poorest among the poor. These two findings indicate that government efforts to improve the poor's access to and utilization of health services are yielding results. The paper emphasizes that the initial dramatic increase in surgeries must be interpreted with caution, given the possible misclassification or misreporting of acute surgeries in the data. The paper also stresses the need to continue monitoring implementation of the Medical Assistance Program and further improve program design, particularly the targeting mechanism, to achieve better efficiency, effectiveness and overall equity in access to health care services.