Does widowhood explain gender differences in out-of-pocket medical spending among the elderly?
AbstractDespite the presence of Medicare, out-of-pocket medical spending is a large expenditure risk facing the elderly. While women live longer than men, elderly women incur higher out-of-pocket medical spending than men at each age. In this paper, we examine whether differences in marital status and living arrangements can explain this difference. We find that out-of-pocket medical spending is approximately 24 percent higher when an individual becomes widowed, a large portion of which is spending on nursing homes. Our results suggest a substantial role of living arrangements in out-of-pocket medical spending. Our estimates combined with differences in rates of widowhood across gender suggest that marital status can explain about one third of the gender difference in total out-of-pocket medical spending, leaving a large portion unexplained. On the other hand, gender differences in widowhood more than explain the observed gender difference in out-of-pocket spending on nursing homes.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.
Volume (Year): 32 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560
Medical spending; Out-of-pocket; Widowhood; Nursing home; Marital status;
Other versions of this item:
- Gopi Shah Goda & John B. Shoven & Sita Nataraj Slavov, 2011. "Does Widowhood Explain Gender Differences in Out-of-Pocket Medical Spending Among the Elderly?," NBER Working Papers 17440, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
- J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
- J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
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