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The Marginal Cost of Saving a Life in Health Care: Age, Gender and Regional Differences in Switzerland

  • Stefan Felder
  • Andreas Werblow

We estimate the marginal cost of life using age- and gender-specific health care expenditures and mortality rates of the 26 Swiss cantons for the period 1997 to 2006. We show triple the marginal cost of saving a life for women as compared to men, reflecting a lower marginal elasticity of medical inputs, a lower mortality rate and higher spending on health care for women. Medical technology does not differ across cantons while the marginal cost of saving a life does. Wealthy cantons spend more on saving a life at the margin and show a smaller gender gap in longevity.

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Article provided by Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES) in its journal Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 145 (2009)
Issue (Month): II (June)
Pages: 137-153

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Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2009-ii-2
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