Drivers of health care expenditure: Does Baumol's cost disease loom large?
AbstractAccording to Baumol (1993) health care epitomises Baumol's cost disease. Sectors that suffer from Baumol's cost disease are characterised by slow productivity growth due to a high labour coefficient. As a result, unit costs of these sectors rise inexorably if the respective wages increase with productivity growth of the progressive industries such as manufacturing. Thus, according to Baumol (1993) the secular rise in health-care expenditure has been unavoidable. This present paper demonstrates that health care is contracted by Baumol's cost disease, but only to a minor extent. Consequently, policy-makers have more leeway to curbever-increasing health-care expenditure than is suggested by Baumol (1993) and other authors. In addition, we test the implications of Baumol's cost disease for health care by avoiding the well-known flaws in constructing medical price indices. Therefore, the adjusted Baumol variable derived in this paper is also extremely appropriate to test the validity of Baumol's cost diseases of other service industries such as education or the live performing arts. Additionally, our analysis suggests that health care is rather a necessity than a luxury at the national level, which conflicts with macroeconomic evidence provided in the relevant literature. --
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Cologne, FiFo Institute for Public Economics in its series FiFo Discussion Papers - Finanzwissenschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge with number 12-5.
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
health-care expenditure; Baumol's cost disease; the macroeconomics of health care; the adjusted Baumol variable;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
- H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
- I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-01-07 (All new papers)
- NEP-EFF-2013-01-07 (Efficiency & Productivity)
- NEP-HEA-2013-01-07 (Health Economics)
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.:
- Nadim Ahmad & François Lequiller & Pascal Marianna & Dirk Pilat & Paul Schreyer & Anita Wölfl, 2003.
"Comparing Labour Productivity Growth in the OECD Area: The Role of Measurement,"
OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers
2003/14, OECD Publishing.
- Nadim Ahmad & François Lequiller & Pascal Marianna & Dirk Pilat & Paul Schreyer & Anita Wölfl, 2003. "Comparing Labour Productivity Growth in the OECD Area: The Role of Measurement," OECD Statistics Working Papers 2003/5, OECD Publishing.
- Brigitte Dormont & Michel Grignon & Hélène Huber, 2006.
"Health expenditure growth : reassessing the threat of ageing,"
- Brigitte Dormont & Michel Grignon & Hélène Huber, 2006. "Health expenditure growth: reassessing the threat of ageing," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(9), pages 947-963.
- Huber, Hélène & Grignon, Michel & Dormont, Brigitte, 2006. "Health expenditure growth : reassessing the threat of ageing," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/3881, Paris Dauphine University.
- Hartwig, Jochen, 2008.
"What drives health care expenditure?--Baumol's model of 'unbalanced growth' revisited,"
Journal of Health Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 603-623, May.
- Jochen Hartwig, 2006. "What Drives Health Care Expenditure? Baumol’s Model of ‘Unbalanced Growth’ Revisited," KOF Working papers 06-133, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
- Mary O'Mahony & Marcel P. Timmer, 2009. "Output, Input and Productivity Measures at the Industry Level: The EU KLEMS Database," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(538), pages F374-F403, 06.
- Getzen, Thomas E., 2000. "Health care is an individual necessity and a national luxury: applying multilevel decision models to the analysis of health care expenditures," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 259-270, March.
- William D. Nordhaus, 2002.
"The Health of Nations: The Contribution of Improved Health to Living Standards,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
1355, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- William D. Nordhaus, 2002. "The Health of Nations: The Contribution of Improved Health to Living Standards," NBER Working Papers 8818, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dreger, C. & Reimers, H.E., 2005.
"Health Care Expenditures in OECD Countries: A Panel Unit Root and Cointegration Analysis,"
International Journal of Applied Econometrics and Quantitative Studies,
Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 2(2), pages 5-20.
- Dreger, Christian & Reimers, Hans-Eggert, 2005. "Health Care Expenditures in OECD Countries: A Panel Unit Root and Cointegration Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 1469, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Andreas Werblow & Stefan Felder & Peter Zweifel, 2007. "Population ageing and health care expenditure: a school of 'red herrings'?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(10), pages 1109-1126.
- Jochen Hartwig, 2005. "Sind unsere gesamtwirtschaftlichen Probleme überhaupt lösbar?," KOF Working papers 05-112, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
- David M. Cutler & Mark McClellan & Joseph P. Newhouse & Dahlia Remler, 1998. "Are Medical Prices Declining? Evidence From Heart Attack Treatments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 991-1024, November.
- Jochen Hartwig, 2007.
"Can Baumol's Model of Unbalanced Growth Contribute to Explaining the Secular Rise in Health Care Expenditure? An Alternative Test,"
KOF Working papers
07-178, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
- Jochen Hartwig, 2011. "Can Baumol's model of unbalanced growth contribute to explaining the secular rise in health care expenditure? An alternative test," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(2), pages 173-184.
- Yves Croissant & Giovanni Millo, . "Panel Data Econometrics in R: The plm Package," Journal of Statistical Software, American Statistical Association, vol. 27(i02).
- Baumol, William J, 1993. " Health Care, Education and the Cost Disease: A Looming Crisis for Public Choice," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 77(1), pages 17-28, September.
- Victor R. Fuchs, 1968. "The Service Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number fuch68-1.
- Chen, Xin & Moul, Charles C., 2014. "Disease or utopia? Testing Baumol in education," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 220-223.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.