Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

To love or to pay: Savings and health care in older age

Contents:

Author Info

  • Loretti I. Dobrescu

    ()
    (University of New South Wales)

Abstract

This paper develops a dynamic structural life-cycle model to study how heterogeneous health and medical spending shocks a¤ect the savings behavior of the elderly. Individuals are allowed to respond to health shocks in two ways: they can directly pay for their health care expenses (self-insure) or they can rely on health insurance contracts. There are two possible insurance options, one through formal contracts and another through informal care provided by family. Formal contracts may be a¤ected by asymmetric information problems, whereas informal insurance depends on social ties (cohesion) and on bequeathable wealth. I estimate the model on SHARE data using simulated method of moments for four levels of wealth in a sample of single retired Europeans. Counterfactual experiments show that health, medical spending and health insurance are indeed the main drivers of the slow wealth decumulation in old age. I also fi?nd that social cohesion rises with age, declines with wealth and is higher in Mediterranean countries than in Central European and Scandinavian countries. Finally, high social cohesion appears typically associated with increased life expectancy.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://research.economics.unsw.edu.au/RePEc/papers/2012-51.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of Economics, The University of New South Wales in its series Discussion Papers with number 2012-51.

as in new window
Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:swe:wpaper:2012-51

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Australian School of Business Building, Sydney 2052
Phone: (+61)-2-9385-3380
Fax: +61)-2- 9313- 6337
Email:
Web page: http://www.economics.unsw.edu.au/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: savings; health; health insurance; social cohesion; life expectancy;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 706-32, August.
  2. Omar Paccagnella & Vincenzo Rebba & Guglielmo Weber, 2008. "Voluntary Private Health Care Insurance Among the Over Fifties in Europe: A Comparative Analysis of SHARE Data," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0086, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  3. K. Bolin & B. Lindgren & P. Lundborg, 2007. "Informal and Formal Care among Single-living Elderly in Europe," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-031/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  4. Morin, Roger A & Fernandez Suarez, Antonio, 1983. " Risk Aversion Revisited," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1201-16, September.
  5. Banks, James & Blundell, Richard & Tanner, Sarah, 1998. "Is There a Retirement-Savings Puzzle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 769-88, September.
  6. Maria Chiuri & Tullio Jappelli, 2010. "Do the elderly reduce housing equity? An international comparison," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 643-663, March.
  7. Karen E. Dynan & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 2000. "Do the Rich Save More?," NBER Working Papers 7906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. R. Glenn Hubbard & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 1994. "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," NBER Working Papers 4884, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley & Guglielmo Weber, 2002. "Asking Consumption Questions in General Purpose Surveys," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 77, McMaster University.
  10. Bernheim, B Douglas & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages S151-82, July.
  11. Eric Bonsang, 2008. "Does Informal Care from Children to their Elderly Parents Substitute for Formal Care in Europe?," CREPP Working Papers 0801, Centre de Recherche en Economie Publique et de la Population (CREPP) (Research Center on Public and Population Economics) HEC-Management School, University of Liège.
  12. Kenneth D. West & Whitney K. Newey, 1995. "Automatic Lag Selection in Covariance Matrix Estimation," NBER Technical Working Papers 0144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2009. "Why do the elderly save? the role of medical expenses," Working Paper Series WP-09-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  14. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 1999. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 7271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Jeffrey R. Brown & Amy Finkelstein, 2008. "The Interaction of Public and Private Insurance: Medicaid and the Long-Term Care Insurance Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 1083-1102, June.
  16. Guariglia, Alessandra & Rossi, Mariacristina, 2004. "Private medical insurance and saving: evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 761-783, July.
  17. Cagetti, Marco, 2003. "Wealth Accumulation over the Life Cycle and Precautionary Savings," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 21(3), pages 339-53, July.
  18. Esping-Andersen, Gosta, 1999. "Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198742005, Octomber.
  19. Palumbo, Michael G, 1999. "Uncertain Medical Expenses and Precautionary Saving Near the End of the Life Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 395-421, April.
  20. Eric Bonsang, 2006. "How do middle-aged children allocate time and money transfers to their older parents in Europe?," CREPP Working Papers 0602, Centre de Recherche en Economie Publique et de la Population (CREPP) (Research Center on Public and Population Economics) HEC-Management School, University of Liège.
  21. David Byrne & Michelle S. Goeree & Bridget Hiedemann & Steven Stern, 2009. "Formal Home Health Care, Informal Care, And Family Decision Making," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1205-1242, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:swe:wpaper:2012-51. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gabriele Gratton).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.