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On the distribution and dynamics of health costs

  • Eric French
  • John Bailey Jones

Using data from the Health and Retirement Survey (HRS) and Assets and Health Dynamics of the Oldest Old (AHEAD), this paper presents estimates of the stochastic process that determines both the distribution and dynamics of health costs. We find that the data generating process for health costs is well represented by an ARMA(1,1). Furthermore, innovations to this process are close to lognormally distributed. In any given year, .1% of our sample receives a health cost shock that costs at least $80,000 in present value. Lastly, we discuss the accuracy of numerical solutions when integrating over health costs. Assuming lognormality, simple approximation rules work well.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Working Paper Series with number WP-02-21.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-02-21
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  7. Altonji, Joseph G & Segal, Lewis M, 1996. "Small-Sample Bias in GMM Estimation of Covariance Structures," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 14(3), pages 353-66, July.
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  10. R. Glenn Hubbard & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 1993. "The Importance of Precautionary Motives in Explaining Individual and Aggregate Saving," NBER Working Papers 4516, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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