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Forecasting The Demand For Health Care In Oecd Nations And China


  • Robert W. Fogel


This article argues that the nations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) are facing a potential disaster: intergenerational conflicts between the large number of workers approaching retirement at an earlier age than ever before in history and the smaller number entering the labor market. These nations are confronted with the choice of whether to default on commitments to pensions and health care, to reduce benefits, or to increase the taxes borne by younger workers. The author argues that this new intergenerational conflict is the result of "technophysio evolution", a synergism between technological and physiological improvements that has produced a form of human evolution that is biological but not genetic, rapid, culturally transmitted, and not necessarily stable. The author goes on to argue that an important aspect of technophysio evolution has been a change in the structure of consumption and in the division of discretionary time between work and leisure. The ongoing debate over whether or not the rapid advances in biotechnology will spare OECD nations' health systems from a financial crisis is addressed. Finally, the implications this argument has for forecasting China's future health care costs are discussed. Copyright 2003 Western Economic Association International.

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  • Robert W. Fogel, 2003. "Forecasting The Demand For Health Care In Oecd Nations And China," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(1), pages 1-10, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:21:y:2003:i:1:p:1-10

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Allen, Robert C., 1992. "Enclosure and the Yeoman: The Agricultural Development of the South Midlands 1450-1850," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198282969.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert W. Fogel, 2008. "The Impact of the Asian Miracle on the Theory of Economic Growth," NBER Chapters,in: Understanding Long-Run Economic Growth: Geography, Institutions, and the Knowledge Economy, pages 311-354 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Fogel, Robert W., 2009. "Forecasting the cost of U.S. Health Care in 2040," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 482-488, July.
    3. Mahdavi, Mahdi & Malmström, Tomi & van de Klundert, Joris & Elkhuizen, Sylvia & Vissers, Jan, 2013. "Generic operational models in health service operations management: A systematic review," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 271-280.
    4. Robert W. Fogel, 2004. "High Performing Asian Economies," NBER Working Papers 10752, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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