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Keywords:

  • shocks;
  • health;
  • self-reported well-being;
  • Laos

ABSTRACT

Using primary data from Laos, we compare a broad range of different types of shocks in terms of their incidence, distribution between the poor and the better off, idiosyncrasy, costs, coping responses, and self-reported impacts on well-being. Health shocks are more common than most other shocks, more concentrated among the poor, more idiosyncratic, more costly, trigger more coping strategies, and highly likely to lead to a cut in consumption. Household members experiencing a health shock lost, on average, 0.6 point on a five-point health scale; the wealthier are better able to limit the health impacts of a health shock. Copyright © 2013 The World Bank Group.