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Is Health Care a Necessity or a Luxury? New Evidence from a Panel of U.S. State-Level Data

  • Donald G. Freeman


    (Department of Economics and International Business, Sam Houston State University)

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    This paper estimates the income elasticity of health care expenditures using annual data on health spending by state in the U.S. from 1966-2009. Panel stationarity tests incorporating structural breaks in the levels and trends in Health Care Expenditures and Disposable Personal Income yield inconsistent results, with stationarity rejected for HCE but not for DPI. Regression results using levels estimation robust to orders of integration differed considerably depending on time period, and the cross-state variation in elasticity estimates was quite large. Results of the first difference models provide more consistent estimates across time periods, whether expressed as averages of individual state estimates or as pooled time series. Income elasticities for the full sample fall in the range 0.21-0.22, below that of recent research.

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    Paper provided by Sam Houston State University, Department of Economics and International Business in its series Working Papers with number 1203.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:shs:wpaper:1203
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    8. James G. MacKinnon, 1992. "Approximate Asymptotic Distribution Functions for Unit Roots and Cointegration Tests," Working Papers 861, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    9. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Löthgren, Mickael, 1998. "On stationarity and cointegration of international health expenditure and GDP," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 232, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 29 Jan 1999.
    10. Kaddour Hadri, 2000. "Testing for stationarity in heterogeneous panel data," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 3(2), pages 148-161.
    11. Josep Lluis Carrion Silvestre & Tomas del Barrio Castro & Enrique Lopez Bazo, 2003. "Breaking the panels. An application to the GDP per capita," Working Papers in Economics 97, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
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    13. Maddala, G S & Wu, Shaowen, 1999. " A Comparative Study of Unit Root Tests with Panel Data and a New Simple Test," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(0), pages 631-52, Special I.
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    15. Carrion-i-Silvestre, Josep Lluis, 2005. "Health care expenditure and GDP: Are they broken stationary?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 839-854, September.
    16. Perron, P, 1988. "The Great Crash, The Oil Price Shock And The Unit Root Hypothesis," Papers 338, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
    17. McCoskey, Suzanne K. & Selden, Thomas M., 1998. "Health care expenditures and GDP: panel data unit root test results," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 369-376, June.
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    19. Hansen, Paul & King, Alan, 1996. "The determinants of health care expenditure: A cointegration approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 127-137, February.
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