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Rising health spending, new medical technology and the Baumol effect

  • Marc Pomp
  • Suncica Vujic
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    This paper estimates the Baumol effect in health spending, using a panel data set of OECD countries. Health expenditure as a share of GDP rises in most OECD countries. One of the possible causes is the so-called Baumol effect, which may arise if labour productivity in health care grows more slowly than in the overall economy. If in addition demand for health care is inelastic, then the share of health spending in GDP will rise over time. We do indeed find that one percentage growth in economy-wide labour productivity is associated with about 0.5 percent growth in real health spending. This implies that economy-wide productivity growth leads to higher real health spending.

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    File URL: http://www.cpb.nl/sites/default/files/publicaties/download/rising-health-spending-new-medical-technology-and-baumol-effect.pdf
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    Paper provided by CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis in its series CPB Discussion Paper with number 115.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:115
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    1. Menkveld, Albert J. & Koopman, Siem Jan & Lucas, Andre, 2007. "Modeling Around-the-Clock Price Discovery for Cross-Listed Stocks Using State Space Methods," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 213-225, April.
    2. Joseph P. Newhouse, 1992. "Medical Care Costs: How Much Welfare Loss?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 3-21, Summer.
    3. Frank R. Lichtenberg, 2007. "The Impact of New Drugs on US Longevity and Medical Expenditure, 1990–2003: Evidence from Longitudinal, Disease-Level Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 438-443, May.
    4. Jack E. Triplett & Barry P. Bosworth, 2003. "Productivity measurement issues in services industries: "Baumol's disease" has been cured," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Sep, pages 23-33.
    5. Nordhaus William D, 2008. "Baumol's Diseases: A Macroeconomic Perspective," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-39, February.
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