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Health Care Quality, Economic Inequality, and Precautionary Saving

  • Tullio Jappelli

    (University of Salerno)

  • Luigi Pistaferri

    (Stanford University)

  • Guglielmo Weber

    ()

    (University of Padua)

We argue that health care quality has an important impact on economic inequality and on saving behaviour. We exploit district-wide variability in health care quality provided by the Italian universal public health system to identify the effect of quality on income inequality, health inequality and precautionary saving. We find that in lower quality districts there is greater income and health dispersion and higher precautionary saving. The analysis carries important insights for the ongoing debate about the validity of the life-cycle model and interesting policy implications for the design of health care systems.

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File URL: http://economia.unipd.it/sites/decon.unipd.it/files/20060020.pdf
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Paper provided by Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno" in its series "Marco Fanno" Working Papers with number 0020.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pad:wpaper:0020
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  1. Angus Deaton, 2002. "Health, inequality, and economic development," Working Papers 209, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
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  9. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1992. "Earnings Uncertainty and Precautionary Saving," CEPR Discussion Papers 699, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  13. Angus S. Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1998. "Health, Income, and Inequality over the Life Cycle," NBER Chapters, in: Frontiers in the Economics of Aging, pages 431-462 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1986. "Health Expenditures and Precautionary Savings," NBER Working Papers 2008, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Orazio P. Attanasio & Agar Brugiavini, 2003. "Social Security And Households' Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1075-1119, August.
  16. James P. Smith, 1999. "Healthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 145-166, Spring.
  17. Vincenzo Atella & Furio C. Rosati & Mariacristina Rossi, 2006. "Precautionary Saving and Health Risk. Evidence from Italian Households Using a Time Series of Cross Sections," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 96(3), pages 113-132, May-June.
  18. Grossman, Michael, 2000. "The human capital model," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 347-408 Elsevier.
  19. Palumbo, Michael G, 1999. "Uncertain Medical Expenses and Precautionary Saving Near the End of the Life Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 395-421, April.
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