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'More Than One Red Herring'? Heterogeneous Effects of Ageing on Healthcare Utilisation

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  • Costa-Font, Joan

    (London School of Economics)

  • Vilaplana-Prieto, Cristina

    (Universidad de Murcia)

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 as well as long-term care. Consistently with the 'red herring hypothesis', we find that corrected TTD estimates are significantly different from uncorrected ones, and its 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Costa-Font, Joan & Vilaplana-Prieto, Cristina, 2020. "'More Than One Red Herring'? Heterogeneous Effects of Ageing on Healthcare Utilisation," IZA Discussion Papers 13228, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp13228
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    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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    More about this item

    Keywords

    time to death; health care utilization; hospital care; medicines use; home help use and comorbidity; ageing; endogeneous time to death (TTD); comorbidities;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • K38 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Human Rights Law; Gender Law
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare

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