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Health and Wealth in a Life Cycle Model

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  • John Karl Scholz

    (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

  • Ananth Seshadri

    (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Abstract

This paper presents a preliminary model of health investments over the life cycle. Health affects both longevity and provides flow utility. We analyze the interplay between consumption choices and investments in health by solving each household’s dynamic optimization problem to obtain predictions on health investments and consumption choices over the lifecycle. Our preliminary model does a good job of matching the distribution of medical expenses across households in the sample. We illustrate the scope of future model applications by examining the effects of a stylized Medicare program on patterns of wealth and mortality.

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File URL: http://www.mrrc.isr.umich.edu/publications/Papers/pdf/wp224.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center in its series Working Papers with number wp224.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp224

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  1. Finkelstein, Amy & Luttmer, Erzo F. P. & Notowidigdo, Matthew J., 2008. "What Good Is Wealth without Health? The Effect of Health on the Marginal Utility of Consumption," Working Paper Series rwp08-036, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  2. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John B. Jones, 2010. "Why Do the Elderly Save? The Role of Medical Expenses," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(1), pages 39-75, 02.
  3. David Card & Carlos Dobkin & Nicole Maestas, 2007. "Does Medicare Save Lives?," NBER Working Papers 13668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Motohiro Yogo, 2009. "Portfolio Choice in Retirement: Health Risk and the Demand for Annuities, Housing, and Risky Assets," NBER Working Papers 15307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Fonseca, Raquel & Michaud, Pierre-Carl & Galama, Titus & Kapteyn, Arie, 2009. "On The Rise of Health Spending and Longevity," IZA Discussion Papers 4622, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Tatyana Koreshkova & Karen A. Kopecky, 2009. "The Impact of Medical and Nursing Home Expenses and Social Insurance Policies on Savings and Inequality," 2009 Meeting Papers 46, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Karen A. Kopecky & Tatyana Koreshkova, 2010. "The impact of medical and nursing home expenses and social insurance," Working Paper 2010-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  8. Finkelstein, Amy & McKnight, Robin, 2008. "What did Medicare do? The initial impact of Medicare on mortality and out of pocket medical spending," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(7), pages 1644-1668, July.
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