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Who’s going broke? Comparing growth in Public healthcare expenditure in Ten OECD Countries

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  • Christian Hagist

    ()
    (Freiburg University)

  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff

    ()
    (Boston University)

Abstract

Government healthcare expenditures have been growing much more rapidly than GDP in OECD countries. How much of this growth is due to demographic change versus increases in benefit levels (expenditures per person at a given age)? This paper answers this question for ten OECD countries –Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Japan, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the UK, and the U.S. using data from 1970-2002. Growth in benefit levels explains 89 of overall healthcare spending growth in the ten countries over the period, with Norway, Spain, and the U.S. recording the highest annual benefit growth rates. As we show, allowing government healthcare benefit levels to grow at historic rates is fraught with danger given the impending retirement of the baby boom generation.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by IEF in its journal Hacienda Pública Española/Revista de Economía Pública.

Volume (Year): 188 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 55-72

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Handle: RePEc:hpe:journl:y:2009:v:188:1:p:55-72

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Related research

Keywords: Healthcare expenditure growth; long-term fiscal imbalance;

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References

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  1. Peter Zweifel & Stefan Felder & Markus Meiers, 1999. "Ageing of population and health care expenditure: a red herring?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(6), pages 485-496.
  2. Peter Zweifel, 2003. "Medical Innovation: A Challenge to Society and Insurance," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 28(2), pages 194-202, April.
  3. Peter Zweifel & Stefan Felder & Andreas Werblow, 2004. "Population Ageing and Health Care Expenditure: New Evidence on the “Red Herring”," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 29(4), pages 652-666, October.
  4. Buchner, Florian & Wasem, Jürgen, 2004. ""Steeping" Of Health Expenditure Profiles," IBES Diskussionsbeiträge 139, University of Duisburg-Essen, Faculty for Economics and Business Administration.
  5. Joseph P. Newhouse, 1992. "Medical Care Costs: How Much Welfare Loss?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 3-21, Summer.
  6. Friedrich Breyer & Stefan Felder, 2004. "Life Expectancy and Health Care Expenditures: A New Calculation for Germany Using the Costs of Dying," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 452, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  7. Sally C. Stearns & Edward C. Norton, 2004. "Time to include time to death? The future of health care expenditure predictions," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(4), pages 315-327.
  8. Friedrich Breyer & Volker Ulrich, 2000. "Gesundheitsausgaben, Alter und medizinischer Fortschritt: Eine Regressionsanalyse," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 220(1), pages 1-17.
  9. Peter Zweifel, 2003. "Medical Innovation: A Challenge to Society and Insurance," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance, The International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics, vol. 28, pages 194-202, 04.
  10. Jennifer Roberts, 1999. "Sensitivity of elasticity estimates for OECD health care spending: analysis of a dynamic heterogeneous data field," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(5), pages 459-472.
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Cited by:
  1. Lago-Peñas, Santiago & Cantarero-Prieto, David & Blázquez-Fernández, Carla, 2013. "On the relationship between GDP and health care expenditure: A new look," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 124-129.

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