Factors associated with willingness to pay for health insurance and pension scheme among informal economy workers in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review
International Journal of Social Economics
Article publication date: 1 December 2020
Issue publication date: 6 January 2021
The purpose of this paper is to establish the main factors influencing willingness to pay for health insurance and pension schemes among informal workers in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Historically, informal economy workers have been excluded from social protection coverage. There is a growing need, interest and policy discourse in LMICs to extend social security to informal economy workers. However, little is known about informal workers' willingness to pay (WTP) for social security services in different LMIC settings.
The authors conducted a systematic review and searched five databases from 1987 to 2017. Included papers focused on “social security”, “social insurance”, “pension”, “informal economy”, “informal sector” and “informal workers” in LMICs. Authors conducted independent data appraisal and data extraction. A total of 1790 papers were identified. After exclusion, 34 papers were included in the analysis. Given the heterogeneous results, the authors performed a narrative synthesis to consolidate the findings of the different studies.
In total, 34 studies from 17 countries were included in the review, out of which 23 studies focused on health insurance, 7 studies on pension schemes and 4 studies on social security in general. The study showed that income and trust were associated with WTP for both health insurance and pension schemes. In addition, family size, age, education and residential area were common factors for both forms of social security. For health insurance, experience of sickness, attitude and presence of medical doctors as well as distance from the healthcare facility all played a role in determining WTP. For pension schemes, low and flexible contribution rates, benefit package, government subsidies and quality of administration of the schemes influenced enrolment and contributions.
More evidence is needed for WTP for pensions among informal workers.
The findings show that socio-economic differences, scheme-type (health or pension) and level of trust influence WTP for health insurance or pension among informal sector workers. The review results suggest that the factors influencing WTP for health insurance and pensions interplay in a complex web of relations. More evidence is needed on WTP for pensions among informal workers.
Further studies are particularly needed on the interrelationship of the influences to WTP, including gender issues, access barriers and socioeconomic factors, among program design issues for social security.
This paper is based on a systematic review methodology and contributes to the discourse on extending social security to informal economy workers based on evidence from various countries.
This research was conducted with support from the Finnish National Agency for Education (EDUFI).
Miti, J.J., Perkio, M., Metteri, A. and Atkins, S. (2021), "Factors associated with willingness to pay for health insurance and pension scheme among informal economy workers in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 48 No. 1, pp. 17-37. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSE-03-2020-0165
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited