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Life-cycle consumption patterns at older ages in the US and the UK: can medical expenditures explain the difference?

Author

Listed:
  • James Banks

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Manchester)

  • Richard Blundell

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)

  • Peter Levell

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • James Smith

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and RAND)

Abstract

In this paper we document significantly steeper declines in nondurable expenditures in the UK compared to the US, in spite of income paths being similar. We explore several possible causes, including different employment paths, housing ownership and expenses, levels and paths of health status, number of household members, and out-of -pocket medical expenditures. Among all the potential explanations considered, we find that those to do with healthcare—differences in levels and age paths in medical expenses—can fully account for the steeper declines in nondurable consumption in the UK compared to the US. This working paper was updated on 10/09/18.

Suggested Citation

  • James Banks & Richard Blundell & Peter Levell & James Smith, 2016. "Life-cycle consumption patterns at older ages in the US and the UK: can medical expenditures explain the difference?," IFS Working Papers W16/16, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:16/16
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    File URL: https://www.ifs.org.uk/uploads/publications/wps/WP201616%20updated.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Life-Cycle Consumption Patterns at Older Ages in the US and the UK: Can Medical Expenditures Explain the Difference?
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2016-09-06 01:14:41

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fernando Alexandre & Pedro Bação & Miguel Portela, 2019. "A flatter life-cycle consumption profile," NIPE Working Papers 01/2019, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
    2. Bönke, Timm & Grabka, Markus M. & Schröder, Carsten & Wolff, Edward N., 2020. "A Head-to-Head Comparison of Augmented Wealth in Germany and the United States," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 1140-1180.
    3. John Bailey Jones & Aaron Steelman, 2019. "Lifetime Medical Spending of Retirees," Richmond Fed Economic Brief, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue May.
    4. Julien Hugonnier & Florian Pelgrin & Pascal St-Amour, 2017. "Closing Down the Shop: Optimal Health and Wealth Dynamics Near the End of Life," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 17-11, Swiss Finance Institute, revised May 2018.
    5. Van Ooijen, Raun & de Bresser, Jochem & Knoef, M.G., 2018. "Health and Household Expenditures," Other publications TiSEM 0912a7f0-22f5-4f25-acbc-e, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    6. Huang, H. & Milevsky, M.A. & Salisbury, T.S., 2017. "Retirement spending and biological age," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 58-76.
    7. Christian Dudel & Julian Schmied, 2019. "Pension adequacy standards: an empirical estimation strategy and results for the United States and Germany," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2019-003, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    8. Pietro Reichlin, 2019. "Equilibrium indeterminacy with parental altruism," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 31, pages 24-35, January.
    9. Davide Dragone & Holger Strulik, 2018. "Negligible Senescence: An Economic Life Cycle Model for the Future," CESifo Working Paper Series 7246, CESifo.
    10. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2016. "Medicaid Insurance in Old Age," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(11), pages 3480-3520, November.
    11. Kools, Lieke & Knoef, Marike, 2019. "Health and consumption preferences; estimating the health state dependence of utility using equivalence scales," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 46-62.
    12. Huaxiong Huang & Moshe A. Milevsky & Thomas S. Salisbury, 2018. "Retirement spending and biological age," Papers 1811.09921, arXiv.org.
    13. Fernando Alexandre & Pedro Bação & Miguel Portela, 2020. "Is the basic life-cycle theory of consumption becoming more relevant? Evidence from Portugal," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 93-116, March.
    14. Dragone, Davide & Strulik, Holger, 2020. "Negligible senescence: An economic life cycle model for the future," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 264-285.
    15. Hugonnier, J. & Pelgrin, F. & St-Amour, P., 2016. "Closing Down the Shop: Optimal Health and Wealth Dynamics near the End of Life," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 16/28, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Life-Cycle; Consumption; Medical Expenditures;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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