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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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  • Stefan Felder & Andreas Werblow, 2009. "The Marginal Cost of Saving a Life in Health Care: Age, Gender and Regional Differences in Switzerland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 145(II), pages 137-153, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2009-ii-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Marginal cost of saving a life; value of a statistical life; gender; health production; regional diversity;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination


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