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Provide, Provide: The Economics of Aging

  • Victor R. Fuchs

Data from the Bureau of the Census, the Health Care Financing Administration, the NBER Tax File and the Current Population Survey are used to estimate for the elderly (ages 65 and above) consumption of health care and income available for other goods and services in 1975, 1985, and 1995. Extrapolation of 1975-1995 and 1985-1995 trends are used to obtain projections for 2020. Even the more conservative projection shows that in 2020 health care for the elderly would consume 10 percent of the GDP, and income available for other goods and services would show an absolute decline from the 1995 level. Changes in age-specific consumption of health care are found to be much more important than demographic changes. Income inequality among the elderly in 1995 is found to be much less than at younger ages.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6642.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6642.

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Date of creation: Jul 1998
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Rettenmaier, Andrew J. and Thomas R. Saving (eds.) Medicare reform: Issues and answers, Bush School Series in the Economics of Public Policy, vol. 1. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1999.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6642
Note: AG
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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  1. Debra Sabatini Dwyer & Olivia S. Mitchell, 1998. "Health Problems as Determinants of Retirement: Are Self-Rated Measures Endogenous?," NBER Working Papers 6503, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & John Sabelhaus, 1996. "Understanding the Postwar Decline in U.S. Saving: A Cohort Analysis," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 315-407.
  3. McClellan, Mark & Skinner, Jonathan, 2006. "The incidence of Medicare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 257-276, January.
  4. Hurd, Michael D, 1990. "Research on the Elderly: Economic Status, Retirement, and Consumption and Saving," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 565-637, June.
  5. Joseph F. Quinn & Kevin Cahill & Richard V. Burkhauser & Robert Weathers, 1998. "The Microeconomics of the Retirement Decision in the United States," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 400, Boston College Department of Economics.
  6. Fuchs, Victor R, 1996. "Economics, Values, and Health Care Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 1-24, March.
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