Friday, December 18, 2009

IZA Paper on Health Spending and Longevity

On The Rise of Health Spending and Longevity
by Raquel Fonseca, Pierre-Carl Michaud, Titus Galama, Arie Kapteyn
(December 2009)

We use a calibrated stochastic life-cycle model of endogenous health spending, asset accumulation and retirement to investigate the causes behind the increase in health spending and life expectancy over the period 1965-2005. We estimate that technological change along with the increase in the generosity of health insurance may explain independently 53% of the rise in health spending (insurance 29% and technology 24%) while income less than 10%. By simultaneously occurring over this period, these changes may have lead to a "synergy" or interaction effect which helps explain an additional 37% increase in health spending. We estimate that technological change, taking the form of increased productivity at an annual rate of 1.8%, explains 59% of the rise in life expectancy at age 50 over this period while insurance and income explain less than 10%.
Text: See Discussion Paper No. 4622   

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