What is it about?

The aim of this paper is to propose and evaluate a new institutional theory explanation for patients making informal payments for health services in Central and Eastern Europe. This views informal payments by patients to healthcare professionals as arising when formal institutional failures lead to an asymmetry between the laws and regulations of formal institutions and the unwritten rules of informal institutions.

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Why is it important?

Reporting a 2013 Eurobarometer survey of the prevalence of informal payments by patients in Central and Eastern European countries, a strong association is revealed between the level of asymmetry between the formal and informal institutions, and the propensity to make informal payments. The association between informal payments and various formal institutional imperfections is then explored to evaluate which structural conditions might reduce this institutional asymmetry, and thus the propensity to make informal payments.


Explains why informal payments by patients for health services are more common in some countries than others

Professor Colin C Williams
University of Sheffield

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This page is a summary of: Explaining informal payments for health services in Central and Eastern Europe: an institutional asymmetry perspective, Post-Communist Economies, April 2018, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/14631377.2018.1442051.
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