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Health Spending and Public Pension: Evidence from Panel Data

Listed author(s):
  • Yonghong An

    (Texas A&M University)

  • Kai Zhao

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Rong Zhou

    (University of Connecticut)

This paper empirically investigates the determinants of aggregate health expenditure in a panel of OECD countries from 1980-2005. We differ from most existing studies by testing some new determinants motivated by recent theoretical advances in the literature. We find that a one percentage increase in public pension payments per elderly person leads to approximately a 1=3 percentage increase in aggregate health spending, and this effect is significant and robust across a variety of model speci cations. A back of the envelope calculation based on this estimate suggests that the expansion of the public pension program on average accounts for approximately over one fifth of the rise in aggregate health expenditure as a share of GDP in the set of OECD countries during 1980-2005. In addition, we find that the estimated effect of GDP per capita in our model ranges from 0.66 to 0.80, which is consistent with the results from some recent studies, and thus further reinforces the finding in the literature that health care is not a luxury good. Finally, our results show that the political factors do not significantly affect aggregate health expenditure, though they have been found to be important for understanding public health spending in existing studies.

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File URL: http://web2.uconn.edu/economics/working/2014-27.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2014-27.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2014
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2014-27
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Web page: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/

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  1. Daron Acemoglu & Amy Finkelstein & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2013. "Income and Health Spending: Evidence from Oil Price Shocks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1079-1095, October.
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  3. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588, July.
  4. Follette, Glenn & Sheiner, Louise, 2005. "The Sustainability of Health Spending Growth," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 58(3), pages 391-408, September.
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  7. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Jonsson, Bengt, 2000. "International comparisons of health expenditure: Theory, data and econometric analysis," Handbook of Health Economics,in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 11-53 Elsevier.
  8. Hui He & Kevin x.d. Huang, 2013. "Why Do Americans Spend So Much More on Health Care than Europeans?--A General Equilibrium Macroeconomic Analysis," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 13-00005, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
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  10. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
  11. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Sogaard, Jes & Andersson, Fredrik & Jonsson, Bengt, 1992. "An econometric analysis of health care expenditure: A cross-section study of the OECD countries," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 63-84, May.
  12. Joseph P. Newhouse, 1992. "Medical Care Costs: How Much Welfare Loss?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 3-21, Summer.
  13. Davies, James B. & Kuhn, Peter, 1992. "Social security, longevity, and moral hazard," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 91-106, October.
  14. Zhao, Kai, 2014. "Social security and the rise in health spending," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 21-37.
  15. Niklas Potrafke, 2009. "Did globalization restrict partisan politics? An empirical evaluation of social expenditures in a panel of OECD countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(1), pages 105-124, July.
  16. Blomqvist, A. G. & Carter, R. A. L., 1997. "Is health care really a luxury?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 207-229, April.
  17. Imrohoroglu, Ayse & Imrohoroglu, Selahattin & Joines, Douglas H, 1995. "A Life Cycle Analysis of Social Security," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 6(1), pages 83-114, June.
  18. Richard M. H. Suen, 2005. "Technological Advance and the Growth in Health Care Spending," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 13, Economie d'Avant Garde.
  19. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
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