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More than one red herring? Heterogeneous effects of ageing on healthcare utilisation

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  • Costa-Font, Joan
  • Vilaplana-Prieto, Cristina

Abstract

We study the effect of ageing, defined as an extra year of life, on health care utilisation. We disentangle the direct effect of ageing, from other alternative explanations such as the presence of comorbidities and endogenous time to death (TTD) that are argued to absorb the effect of ageing (so‐called ‘red herring’ hypothesis). We exploit individual level end of life data from several European countries that record the use of medicine, outpatient and inpatient care and long‐term care. Consistently with the ‘red herring hypothesis’, we find that corrected TTD estimates are significantly different from uncorrected ones, and their effect size exceeds that of an extra year of life, which in turn is moderated by individual comorbidities. Corrected estimates suggest an overall attenuated effect of ageing, which does not influence outpatient care utilisation. These results suggest the presence of ‘more than one red herring’ depending on the type of health care examined.

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  • Costa-Font, Joan & Vilaplana-Prieto, Cristina, 2020. "More than one red herring? Heterogeneous effects of ageing on healthcare utilisation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 104243, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:104243
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    1. Chris Sampson’s journal round-up for 28th December 2020
      by Chris Sampson in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2020-12-28 12:00:00

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    2. Keegan, Conor & Brick, Aoife & Bergin, Adele & Wren, Maev-Ann & Whyte, Richard & Henry, Edward, 2020. "Projections of expenditure for public hospitals in Ireland, 2018–2035, based on the Hippocrates Model," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS117, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    ageing; cormorbidities; endogeneous time to death (TTD); health care utilisation; home help use and comorbidity; hospital care; medicines use; time to death; Wiley;
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    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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