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Spurious correlation in estimation of the health production function

Author

Listed:
  • Sule Akkoyunlu
  • Frank R. Lichtenberg
  • Boriss Silverstovs
  • Peter Zweifel

Abstract

In this paper, we address the issue of spurious correlation in the production of health in a systematic way. Spurious correlation entails the risk of linking health status to medical (and nonmedical) inputs when no links exist. This note first presents the bounds testing procedure as a method to detect and avoid spurious correlation. It then applies it to a recent contribution by Lichtenberg (2004), which relates longevity in the United States to pharmaceutical innovation and public health care expenditure. The results of the bounds testing procedure show longevity to be linearly related to these two factors. Therefore, the estimates reported by Lichtenberg (2004) cannot be said to be result of spurious correlation, to the contrary, they very likely reflect an effective relationship, at least for the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Sule Akkoyunlu & Frank R. Lichtenberg & Boriss Silverstovs & Peter Zweifel, 2009. "Spurious correlation in estimation of the health production function," KOF Working papers 09-227, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:09-227
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3929/ethz-a-005799493
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    Cited by:

    1. Ilja Neustadt & Peter Zweifel, 2009. "Economic Well-Being, Social Mobility, and Preferences for Income Redistribution: Evidence from a Discrete Choice Experiment," SOI - Working Papers 0909, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Jan 2010.
    2. Badi Baltagi & Francesco Moscone & Elisa Tosetti, 2012. "Medical technology and the production of health care," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 395-411, April.
    3. Cappellari, Lorenzo & De Paoli, Anna & Turati, Gilberto, 2014. "Do Market Incentives in the Hospital Industry Affect Subjective Health Perceptions? Evidence from the Italian PPS-DRG Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 8636, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Maurus Rischatsch, 2009. "Simulating WTP Values from Random-Coefficient Models," SOI - Working Papers 0912, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    5. Maurus Rischatsch & Maria Trottmann, 2009. "Physician dispensing and the choice between generic and brand-name drugs – Do margins affect choice?," SOI - Working Papers 0911, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health; Life expectancy; Innovation; Pharmaceuticals; Health care expenditure; Cointegration;

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