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Why Do Americans Spend So Much More on Health Care than Europeans?

  • Kevin X. D. Huang

    ()

    (Vanderbilt University)

  • Hui He

    ()

    (Shanghai University of Finance and Economics)

Empirical evidence suggests that both leisure time and medical care are important for maintaining health. We develop a general equilibrium macroeconomic model in which taxation is a key determinant of the composition of these two inputs in the endogenous accumulation of health capital. In our model, higher taxes lead to using relatively more leisure time and less medical care in maintaining health. We find that difference in taxation between the US and Europe can account for a large fraction of their difference in health expenditure-GDP ratio and almost all of their difference in time input for health production.

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File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/pubs/VUECON/VUECON-13-00021.pdf
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Paper provided by Vanderbilt University Department of Economics in its series Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers with number 13-00021.

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Date of creation: 23 Dec 2013
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Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:vuecon-sub-13-00021
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/econ/wparchive/index.html

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  1. Steven J. Davis & Magnus Henrekson, 2004. "Tax Effects on Work Activity, Industry Mix and Shadow Economy Size: Evidence from Rich-Country Comparisons," NBER Working Papers 10509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Conny Olovsson, 2009. "Why Do Europeans Work So Little?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(1), pages 39-61, 02.
  3. Alesina, Alberto F & Glaeser, Edward L & Sacerdote, Bruce, 2005. "Work and Leisure in the US and Europe: Why So Different?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5140, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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.
  5. Zhao, Kai, 2014. "Social security and the rise in health spending," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 21-37.
  6. Edward C. Prescott, 2003. "Why do Americans work so much more than Europeans?," Staff Report 321, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Enrique G. Mendoza & Assaf Razin & Linda L. Tesar, 1994. "Effective Tax Rates in Macroeconomics: Cross-Country Estimates of Tax Rates on Factor Incomes and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 4864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Michael Insler, 2014. "The Health Consequences of Retirement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(1), pages 195-233.
  9. Sheng-Ti Hung & Kevin X.D. Huang & Hui He, 2013. "Substituting Leisure for Health Expenditure: A General Equilibrium-Based Empirical Investigation," 2013 Meeting Papers 1310, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good for Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650.
  11. Ohanian, Lee & Raffo, Andrea & Rogerson, Richard, 2008. "Long-term changes in labor supply and taxes: Evidence from OECD countries, 1956-2004," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1353-1362, November.
  12. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 2007. "The Value of Life and the Rise in Health Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 39-72.
  13. Gronau, Reuben, 1977. "Leisure, Home Production, and Work-The Theory of the Allocation of Time Revisited," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1099-1123, December.
  14. Kevin X. D. Huang & Hui He, 2013. "Why Do Americans Spend So Much More on Health Care than Europeans?," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 13-00021, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  15. Zhigang Feng, 2009. "Macroeconomic Consequences of Alternative Reforms to the Health Insurance System in the U.S," Working Papers 0908, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
  16. Richard Rogerson, 2004. "Two Views on the Deterioration of European Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 447-455, 04/05.
  17. repec:gdm:wpaper:5810 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Motohiro Yogo, 2009. "Portfolio Choice in Retirement: Health Risk and the Demand for Annuities, Housing, and Risky Assets," NBER Working Papers 15307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Richard Rogerson, 2007. "Structural Transformation and the Deterioration of European Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 12889, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2010. "Medical Consumption over the Life Cycle: Facts from a U.S. Medical Expenditure Panel Survey," Working Papers 2010-09, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2013.
  21. Viscusi, W Kip & Evans, William N, 1990. "Utility Functions That Depend on Health Status: Estimates and Economic Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 353-74, June.
  22. Sickles, Robin C & Yazbeck, Abdo, 1998. "On the Dynamics of Demand for Leisure and the Production of Health," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 16(2), pages 187-97, April.
  23. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2008. "The Macroeconomics of Health Savings Accounts," Caepr Working Papers 2007-023, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  24. Contoyannis, Paul & Jones, Andrew M., 2004. "Socio-economic status, health and lifestyle," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 965-995, September.
  25. Raquel Fonseca & Pierre-Carl Michaud & Titus Galama & Arie Kapteyn, 2009. "On the Rise of Health Spending and Longevity," Working Papers 722, RAND Corporation.
  26. 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.
  27. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
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