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Is There Empirical Evidence For Decreasing Returns To Scale In A Health Capital Model?

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  • Titus J. Galama
  • Patrick Hullegie
  • Erik Meijer
  • Sarah Outcault

Abstract

We estimate a health investment equation, derived from a health capital model that is an extension of the well-known Grossman model. Of particular interest is whether the health production function has constant returns to scale, as in the standard Grossman model, or decreasing returns to scale, as in the Ehrlich-Chuma model and extensions thereof. The model with decreasing returns to scale has a number of theoretically and empirically desirable characteristics that the constant returns model does not have. Although our empirical equation does not point-identify the decreasing returns to scale curvature parameter, it does allow us to test for constant versus decreasing returns to scale. The results are suggestive of decreasing returns and in line with prior estimates from the literature. But when we attempt to control for the endogeneity of health by using instrumental variables, the results become inconclusive. This brings into question the robustness of prior estimates in this literature.
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Suggested Citation

  • Titus J. Galama & Patrick Hullegie & Erik Meijer & Sarah Outcault, 2012. "Is There Empirical Evidence For Decreasing Returns To Scale In A Health Capital Model?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(9), pages 1080-1100, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:21:y:2012:i:9:p:1080-1100
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:zbw:iamost:86 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2016. "Market Inefficiency, Insurance Mandate and Welfare: U.S. Health Care Reform 2010," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 20, pages 132-159, April.
    3. Audrey Laporte, 2014. "Should the Grossman model of investment in health capital retain its iconic status?," Working Papers 140003, Canadian Centre for Health Economics, revised Jan 2015.
    4. Titus J. Galama & Hans van Kippersluis, 2013. "Health Inequalities through the Lens of Health Capital Theory: Issues, Solutions, and Future Directions," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-076/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    5. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2015. "Social Health Insurance: A Quantitative Exploration," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2015-629, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    6. Bolin, Kristian & Liljas, Bengt & Lindgren, Björn, 2014. "Individual technologies for health - the implications of distinguishing between the ability to produce health investments and the capacity to benefit from those investments," Working Papers in Economics 587, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    7. repec:eee:eecrev:v:100:y:2017:i:c:p:428-462 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2016. "Market Inefficiency, Insurance Mandate and Welfare: U.S. Health Care Reform 2010," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 20, pages 132-159, April.
    9. Jung, Juergen & Tran, Chung & Chambers, Matthew, 2017. "Aging and health financing in the U.S.: A general equilibrium analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 428-462.
    10. Borgersen, Trond-Arne & King, Roswitha M., 2015. "Endogenous supply side constraints to export-led growth and aggregate growth implications in transition economies," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 96-109.
    11. Titus Galama, 2011. "A Contribution to Health Capital Theory," Working Papers WR-831, RAND Corporation.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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