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Equilibrium Health Spending and Population Aging in a Model of Endogenous Growth: Will the GDP Share of Health Spending Keep Rising?

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  • Isaac Ehrlich
  • Yong Yin

Abstract

Existing forecasts of a continuously rising income share of health spending (SHS) take per capita income growth and population aging as given. We develop a human capital-based endogenous growth model treating these variables as endogenously determined. In this private-economy setting, SHS has equilibrium upper bounds due to rising shadow prices of life and health protection. Our calibrated simulations reproduce observed trends in fertility and life expectancy and account for advances in life protection and health maintenance technologies. The model identifies the major forces driving the dynamic path of SHS and uncovers a direct link between health investment at young age and the equilibrium rate of economic growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Isaac Ehrlich & Yong Yin, 2013. "Equilibrium Health Spending and Population Aging in a Model of Endogenous Growth: Will the GDP Share of Health Spending Keep Rising?," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(4), pages 411-447.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jhucap:doi:10.1086/675640
    DOI: 10.1086/675640
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Casper Worm Hansen, 2013. "Health and Development: A Neoclassical Perspective," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(3), pages 274-295.
    2. Isaac Ehrlich & Yong Yin, 2005. "Explaining Diversities in Age-Specific Life Expectancies and Values of Life Saving: A Numerical Analysis," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 129-162, September.
    3. Ehrlich, Isaac & Lui, Francis T, 1991. "Intergenerational Trade, Longevity, and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 1029-1059, October.
    4. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 2007. "The Value of Life and the Rise in Health Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 39-72.
    5. Juster, F Thomas & Stafford, Frank P, 1991. "The Allocation of Time: Empirical Findings, Behavioral Models, and Problems of Measurement," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 471-522, June.
    6. Ehrlich, Isaac & Kim, Jinyoung, 2005. "Endogenous fertility, mortality and economic growth: Can a Malthusian framework account for the conflicting historical trends in population?," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 789-806, October.
    7. Michael R. Haines, 1994. "Estimated Life Tables for the United States, 1850-1900," NBER Historical Working Papers 0059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Hoyt Bleakley, 2007. "Disease and Development: Evidence from Hookworm Eradication in the American South," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 73-117.
    9. Adrienne M. Lucas, 2010. "Malaria Eradication and Educational Attainment: Evidence from Paraguay and Sri Lanka," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 46-71, April.
    10. Ehrlich, Isaac, 2000. "Uncertain lifetime, life protection, and the value of life saving," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 341-367, May.
    11. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ehrlich, Isaac & Yin, Yong, 2018. "The problem of the uninsured," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 147-168.
    2. Andreas Schick & Richard H. Steckel, 2015. "Height, Human Capital, and Earnings: The Contributions of Cognitive and Noncognitive Ability," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 94-115.
    3. Anne Mason & Idaira Rodriguez Santana & María José Aragón & Nigel Rice & Martin Chalkley & Raphael Wittenberg & Jose-Luis Fernandez, 2019. "Drivers of health care expenditure: Final report," Working Papers 169cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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