Date of Award

Winter 2006

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Administration and Urban Policy

Committee Director

John C. Morris

Committee Member

Jack Robinson

Committee Member

Pamela A. Gibson


Over the past two decades, various structural modifications associated with the provision of national health and its systems have been undertaken. The preponderance of liberalization experiences have occurred in the absence of epidemiological, political, or social considerations associated with adoption and implementation. Often, financial and political manipulation by international organizations and powerful foreign governments has served as the impetus for fundamental shifts leading to an asymmetrical distribution of resources by population density, geography, and along various socio-cultural boundaries. Consequently, structural adjustments have resulted in unpredictable and divergent outcomes with regard to health status. The question of whether or not health policies and programs served to fulfill public health objectives appeared to be one of the most critical.

Using national-level data for the 192 member nations of the World Health Organization, this exploratory dissertation employs phased statistical methods to determine the individual and collective associations of economics and socio-political conditions with the dependent variable, health status. Results of the stepwise regression suggest that the individual variable most responsible for achieving favorable health status is median age (R2=.586, pR 2=.629, pR 2=.643, p

This exploratory study provides some new evidence concerning the individual and combined roles of economic conditions and the socio-political environment in determining health status, thus providing a foundation for thoughtful consideration of the milieu under which health policy is developed and implemented. The result is a solution capable of accounting for the impact of social, political, and economic leveraging on health status and provides a theoretical framework suitable for cross-national comparative research.