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A Contribution to Health Capital Theory

  • Titus Galama

This paper presents a theory of the demand for health, health investment and longevity, building on the human capital framework for health and addressing limitations of existing models. It predicts a negative correlation between health investment and health, that the health of wealthy and educated individuals declines more slowly and that they live longer, that current health status is a function of the initial level of health and the histories of prior health investments made, that health investment rapidly increases near the end of life and that length of life is finite as a result of limited life-time resources (the budget constraint). It derives a structural relation between health and health investment (e.g., medical care) that is suitable for empirical testing.

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Paper provided by RAND Corporation Publications Department in its series Working Papers with number 831.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:831
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  1. Titus J. Galama & Patrick Hullegie & Erik Meijer & Sarah Outcault, 2012. "Is There Empirical Evidence For Decreasing Returns To Scale In A Health Capital Model?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(9), pages 1080-1100, 09.
  2. Robert Kaestner, 2013. "The Grossman model after 40 years: a reply to Peter Zweifel," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 357-360, April.
  3. (*), Nigel Rice & Paul Contoyannis, 2001. "The impact of health on wages: Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 599-622.
  4. John Karl Scholz & Ananth Seshadri, 2012. "The Interplay of Wealth, Retirement Decisions, Policy and Economic Shocks," Working Papers wp271, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  5. Isaac Ehrlich & Yong Yin, 2004. "Explaining Diversities in Age-Specific Life Expectancies and Values of Life Saving: A Numerical Analysis," NBER Working Papers 10759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Khwaja, Ahmed, 2010. "Estimating willingness to pay for medicare using a dynamic life-cycle model of demand for health insurance," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 130-147, May.
  7. Titus J. Galama & Arie Kapteyn, 2009. "Grossman's Missing Health Threshold," Working Papers 684, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  8. Caputo,Michael R., 2005. "Foundations of Dynamic Economic Analysis," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521603683, October.
  9. Titus Galama & Arie Kapteyn & Raquel Fonseca & Pierre‐Carl Michaud, 2013. "A Health Production Model With Endogenous Retirement," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(8), pages 883-902, 08.
  10. Ehrlich, Isaac & Chuma, Hiroyuki, 1990. "A Model of the Demand for Longevity and the Value of Life Extension," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 761-82, August.
  11. Julien Hugonnier & Florian Pelgrin & Pascal St-Amour, 2009. "Health and (other) Asset Holdings," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 09-18, Swiss Finance Institute.
  12. Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Johannesson, Magnus, 1997. "New Estimates of the Demand for Health: Results Based on a Categorical Health Measure and Swedish Micro Data," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 205, Stockholm School of Economics.
  13. Raquel Fonseca & Pierre-Carl Michaud & Arie Kapteyn & Titus Galama, 2013. "Accounting for the Rise of Health Spending and Longevity," Cahiers de recherche 1326, CIRPEE.
  14. Donna B. Gilleskie, 1998. "A Dynamic Stochastic Model of Medical Care Use and Work Absence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(1), pages 1-46, January.
  15. Strulik, Holger, 2014. "A closed-form solution for the health capital model," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 222, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
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