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Changing the way the elderly live: Evidence from the home health care market in the United States

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  • Orsini, Chiara
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    Abstract

    I examine how decreases in government coverage of home health care visits to the elderly in the United States have affected their living arrangements. Specifically, I exploit geographic variation in the Medicare Home Health Care reimbursement rate that arose as a result of legislation passed in 1997 and I identify its impact on the living arrangements of older Medicare beneficiaries. I find that less generous reimbursement policies lead to a greater fraction of elderly giving up independent living. Baseline-model estimates suggest that a decline in reimbursement of one visit per user leads to a 0.98% increase in the fraction of elderly Medicare beneficiaries living in shared living arrangements, that is, living with somebody else, rather than alone or with only the spouse. This estimate implies that a decline in reimbursement of 5.1 visits per Medicare beneficiary increases the fraction of elderly that live in shared living arrangements by 1.12 percentage points. Such an increase is consistent with the time-series increase in the fraction of elderly that live in shared living arrangements between 1997 and 2000.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

    Volume (Year): 94 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 1-2 (February)
    Pages: 142-152

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:94:y:2010:i:1-2:p:142-152

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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    Keywords: Home health care Medicare Living arrangements of the elderly;

    References

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    1. Costa, Dora L, 1997. "Displacing the Family: Union Army Pensions and Elderly Living Arrangements," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1269-92, December.
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    10. Robin McKnight, 2004. "Home Care Reimbursement, Long-term Care Utilization,And Health Outcomes," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2004-6, University of Oregon Economics Department.
    11. M. Browning & P. A. Chiappori, 1998. "Efficient Intra-Household Allocations: A General Characterization and Empirical Tests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(6), pages 1241-1278, November.
    12. Julie Lee & Mark McClellan & Jonathan Skinner, 1999. "The Distributional Effects of Medicare," NBER Working Papers 6910, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Dora L. Costa, 1999. "A House of Her Own: Old Age Assistance and the Living Arrangements of Older Nonmarried Women," NBER Working Papers 6217, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Liliana E. Pezzin & Peter Kemper & James Reschovsky, 1996. "Does Publicly Provided Home Care Substitute for Family Care? Experimental Evidence with Endogenous Living Arrangements," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(3), pages 650-676.
    15. Hoerger, Thomas J & Picone, Gabriel A & Sloan, Frank A, 1996. "Public Subsidies, Private Provision of Care and Living Arrangements of the Elderly," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(3), pages 428-40, August.
    16. Thomas S. Dee & William N. Evans, 2003. "Teen Drinking and Educational Attainment: Evidence from Two-Sample Instrumental Variables Estimates," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 178-209, January.
    17. Marianne P. Bitler & Jonah B. Gelbach & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2006. "Welfare Reform and Children's Living Arrangements," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(1).
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    Cited by:
    1. Haizhen Mou & Stanley L. Winer, 2012. "Fiscal Incidence when both Individual Welfare and Family Structure Matter: The Case of Subsidization of Home-Care for the Elderly," CESifo Working Paper Series 3731, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. M. Lippi Bruni & C. Ugolini, 2013. "Delegating home care for the elderly to external caregivers? An empirical study on Italian data," Working Papers wp905, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.

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