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Technological Advance and the Growth in Health Care Spending

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Abstract

The second half of the twentieth century recorded a rapid growth in health care spending and a significant increase in life expectancy. This paper hypothesizes that the combination of techno-logical progress in medical treatment and rising incomes is the driving force behind these two trends. Using a stochastic, multi-period overlapping-generations model as the analytical vehicle, this paper argues that the rapid growth in medical spending is not driven by factors associated with market structures or insurance opportunities, but instead by factors underlying the production and accumulation of health. According to this model, improvements in medical treatment and rising incomes can explain all of the increase in medical spending and more than 60% of the increase in life expectancy at age 25 during the second half of the twentieth century.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economie d'Avant Garde in its series Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports with number 13.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eag:rereps:13

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Web page: http://www.jeremygreenwood.net/EAG.htm

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Keywords: Technological progress; life expectancy; medical spending; health;

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Cited by:
  1. Zhigang Feng, 2009. "Macroeconomic Consequences of Alternative Reforms to the Health Insurance System in the U.S," Working Papers 0908, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
  2. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2014. "Market Inefficiency, Insurance Mandate and Welfare: U.S. Health Care Reform 2010," Working Papers 2014-01, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2014.
  3. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2010. "The Macroeconomics of Health Savings Accounts," Working Papers 2010-12, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised May 2011.
  4. Raquel Fonseca & Pierre-Carl Michaud & Arie Kapteyn & Titus Galama, 2013. "Accounting for the Rise of Health Spending and Longevity," Cahiers de recherche 1326, CIRPEE.

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