The effects of technology on the age distribution of health spending: a cross-country perspective
The conventional method used to project a country's future health care expenditures is to assume that relative health spending by age remains constant. This method has been criticized as being too pessimistic, on the one hand, because of continued improvements in the health status of older people, and as too optimistic, on the other, because of the effects of technological innovations on increasing health spending on the elderly relative to the nonelderly. This paper uses cross-country data to shed light on this question. I find that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the theoretical effects of technology on health spending are to decrease the concentration of health spending on the elderly. Empirically, I find that relative health spending by age has been quite stable over time. I also find that countries with the most technologically intensive health sectors spend relatively less on the oldest old compared to the younger old.
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- David M. Cutler & Ellen Meara, 1998.
"The Medical Costs of the Young and Old: A Forty-Year Perspective,"
NBER Chapters,in: Frontiers in the Economics of Aging, pages 215-246
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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- David M. Cutler & Ellen Meara, 1999. "The Concentration of Medical Spending: An Update," NBER Working Papers 7279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Brockmann, Hilke, 2002. "Why is less money spent on health care for the elderly than for the rest of the population? Health care rationing in German hospitals," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 593-608, August. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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