IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Is health care really a luxury in OECD countries? Evidence from alternative price deflators


  • Paresh Kumar Narayan
  • Seema Narayan
  • Russell Smyth


This article examines whether real Health-care Expenditure (HE) is a luxury or necessity for Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries over the period 1972 to 2004 within a panel unit root and panel cointegration framework. To realize this objective, we regress HE on real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the proportion of the population aged over 65 (P65) and a time trend (T). We first present results for 18 countries where real HE per capita is obtained using a general GDP deflator. For these countries, we find that health care is a luxury for just one country. Next, we present results for eight countries where real HE is obtained using a specific health-care price index. When the general GDP deflator is replaced with a specific health-care price index, at least one of the GDP, P65 or T coefficients for the eight countries changes in a reasonably dramatic fashion, suggesting that the use of the GDP deflator introduces bias into the regression. We find that HE is a necessity in all eight countries. Given that the reliability of the GDP deflator results is questionable, on the basis of the results for the eight countries, we conclude that HE is a necessity.

Suggested Citation

  • Paresh Kumar Narayan & Seema Narayan & Russell Smyth, 2011. "Is health care really a luxury in OECD countries? Evidence from alternative price deflators," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(25), pages 3631-3643.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:43:y:2011:i:25:p:3631-3643
    DOI: 10.1080/00036841003670788

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:soinre:v:133:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1357-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Nicholas Apergis & Tsangyao Chang & Christina Christou & Rangan Gupta, 2017. "Convergence of Health Care Expenditures Across the US States: A Reconsideration," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 133(1), pages 303-316, August.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:43:y:2011:i:25:p:3631-3643. 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: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.