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Medical Consumption Over the Life Cycle: Facts from a U.S. Medical Expenditure Panel Survey

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  • Juergen Jung

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Towson University)

  • Chung Tran

    ()
    (School of Economics, University of New South Wales)

Abstract

In this paper we construct life-cycle profiles of U.S. health care spending using data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). We separate pure age effects on health expenditure from time effects (i.e. productivity effects, business cycle effects, etc.) and cohort effects (i.e. initial condition effects) by estimating a seminonparametric partial linear model. After controlling for time and cohort effects, we find that medical expenditure-age profiles follow an upward trend. Time and cohort effects introduce a significant estimation bias into predictions of health expenditures per age group. It is demonstrated that failing to adequately control for time and cohort effects results in an overprediction of the effect of age on health expenditures, especially for agents older than 60. Cohort effect biases dominate time effect biases in estimates of health expenditures that do not adequately control for both effects. Estimation biases introduced by cohort effects increase monotonically with age while time effects are non-monotone.

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File URL: http://research.economics.unsw.edu.au/RePEc/papers/2010-08.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of Economics, The University of New South Wales in its series Discussion Papers with number 2010-08.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:swe:wpaper:2010-08

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Keywords: life-cycle profiles; time and cohort effects; partial linear seminonparametric models; pseudo panels; medical expenditure panel survey (MEPS);

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Kevin X. D. Huang & Hui He, 2013. "Why Do Americans Spend So Much More on Health Care than Europeans?," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 13-00021, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  2. Kevin x.d. Huang & Hui He & Sheng-ti Hung, 2013. "Substituting Leisure for Health Expenditure: A General Equilibrium-Based Empirical Investigation," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 13-00020, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  3. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2010. "Market Inefficiency, Insurance Mandate and Welfare: U.S. Health Care Reform 2010," Discussion Papers 2010-31, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  4. Sarah Brockhoff & Stéphane Rossignol & Emmanuelle Taugourdeau, 2012. "The three worlds of welfare capitalism revisited," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00679066, HAL.
  5. Shuyun May Li & Solmaz Moslehi & Siew Ling Yew, 2012. "Public-Private Mix of Health Expenditure: A Political Economy Approach and A Quantitative Exercise," Monash Economics Working Papers 11-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  6. Hui He & Kevin x.d. Huang, 2013. "Why Do Americans Spend So Much More on Health Care than Europeans?--A General Equilibrium Macroeconomic Analysis," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 13-00005, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.

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