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The link between health care spending and health outcomes for the new English Primary Care Trusts


  • Stephen Martin

    (Department of Economics, University of York)

  • Nigel Rice

    (Centre for Health Economics, University of York)

  • Peter C Smith

    (Centre for Health Economics, University of York)


English programme budgeting data have yielded major new insights into the link between health care spending and health outcomes. This paper updates two recent studies that have used programme budgeting data for 295 Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) in England to examine the link between spending and outcomes for several programmes of care. We use the same economic model employed in the two previous studies. It focuses on a decision maker who must allocate a fixed budget across programmes of care so as to maximize social welfare given a health production function for each programme. Two equations – a health outcome equation and an expenditure equation – are estimated for each programme (data permitting). The two previous studies employed expenditure data for 2004/05 and 2005/06 for 295 health authorities and found that in several care programmes – cancer, circulation problems, respiratory problems, gastro-intestinal problems, trauma burns and injury, and diabetes – expenditure had the anticipated negative effect on the mortality rate. Each health outcome equation was used to estimate the marginal cost of a life year saved. In 2006/07 the number of PCTs in England was reduced to 152, largely through a series of mergers. In addition, several changes were made to the methods employed to construct the programme budgeting data. This paper employs updated budgeting and mortality data for the new 152 PCTs to re-estimate health production and expenditure functions, and also presents updated estimates of the marginal cost of a life year saved in each programme. Although there are some differences, the results obtained are broadly similar to those presented in our two previous studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Martin & Nigel Rice & Peter C Smith, 2008. "The link between health care spending and health outcomes for the new English Primary Care Trusts," Working Papers 042cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:chy:respap:42cherp

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stephen Martin & Nigel Rice & Peter C Smith, 2007. "Further evidence on the link between health care spending and health outcomes in England," Working Papers 032cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
    2. Zeynep Or, 2001. "Exploring the Effects of Health Care on Mortality Across OECD Countries," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 46, OECD Publishing.
    3. Peter C. Smith & Nigel Rice & Roy Carr-Hill, 2001. "Capitation funding in the public sector," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 164(2), pages 217-257.
    4. Martin, Stephen & Rice, Nigel & Smith, Peter C., 2008. "Does health care spending improve health outcomes? Evidence from English programme budgeting data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 826-842, July.
    5. Gravelle, H.S.E. & Backhouse, M.E., 1987. "International cross-section analysis of the determination of mortality," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 427-441, January.
    6. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Pierre-Yves Crémieux & Pierre Ouellette & Caroline Pilon, 1999. "Health care spending as determinants of health outcomes," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(7), pages 627-639.
    8. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
    9. John Nixon & Philippe Ulmann, 2006. "The relationship between health care expenditure and health outcomes," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 7(1), pages 7-18, March.
    10. Pesaran, M Hashem & Taylor, Larry W, 1999. " Diagnostics for IV Regressions," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(2), pages 255-281, May.
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    12. John Shea, 1997. "Instrument Relevance in Multivariate Linear Models: A Simple Measure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(2), pages 348-352, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. J. Raftery, 2014. "NICE’s Cost-Effectiveness Range: Should it be Lowered?," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 32(7), pages 613-615, July.
    2. Karl Claxton & Mark Sculpher & Stuart Carroll, 2011. "Value-based pricing for pharmaceuticals: Its role, specification and prospects in a newly devolved NHS," Working Papers 060cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
    3. Mark Sculpher & Karl Claxton, 2012. "Real Economics Needs to Reflect Real Decisions," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 133-136, February.
    4. Appleby, John & Devlin, Nancy & Parkin, David & Buxton, Martin & Chalkidou, Kalipso, 2009. "Searching for cost effectiveness thresholds in the NHS," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 91(3), pages 239-245, August.

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