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Flat-of-the-Curve Medicine � A New Perspective on the Production of Health

Author

Listed:
  • Johannes Schoder

    () (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)

  • Peter Zweifel

    () (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)

Abstract

Health economists have studied the determinants of the expected value of health status as a function of medical and nonmedical inputs, often finding small marginal effects of the former. This paper argues that both types of input have an additional benefit, viz. a reduced variability of health status. Using OECD health data for 24 countries between 1960 and 2004, medical and nonmedical inputs are found to reduce the variability of life expectancy. While the evidence supports the "flat-of-the-curve medicine" hypothesis with respect to the expected value of life expectancy and its variability, healthcare expenditure is comparatively effective in reducing variability.

Suggested Citation

  • Johannes Schoder & Peter Zweifel, 2009. "Flat-of-the-Curve Medicine � A New Perspective on the Production of Health," SOI - Working Papers 0901, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:soz:wpaper:0901
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    File URL: http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp_soi/wp0901.pdf
    File Function: first version, 2009
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    production of health; control over health status; Gini coefficient;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General

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