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Aging and future healthcare expenditure: a consistent approach


Steinmann, Lukas; Telser, Harry; Zweifel, Peter (2007). Aging and future healthcare expenditure: a consistent approach. Forum for Health Economics and Policy, 10(2):1-30.

Abstract

The impact of aging on healthcare expenditure (HCE) has been at the center of a prolonged debate. This paper purports to shed light on several issues of this debate by presenting new evidence on the "red herring" hypothesis advanced by Zweifel, Felder and Meier (1999). This hypothesis amounts to distinguishing a mortality from a morbidity component in healthcare expenditure (HCE) and claiming that failure to make this distinction results in excessive estimates of future growth of HCE. A re-estimation based on a much larger data set is performed, using the refined econometric methodology. The main contribution is consistency, however. Rather than treating the mortality component as a residual in forecasting, its dynamics are analyzed in the same detail as that of the morbidity component when predicting the impact of population aging on the future growth of HCE. For the case of Switzerland, it finds this impact to be relatively small regardless of whether or not the mortality component is accounted for, thus qualifying the "red herring" hypothesis.

Abstract

The impact of aging on healthcare expenditure (HCE) has been at the center of a prolonged debate. This paper purports to shed light on several issues of this debate by presenting new evidence on the "red herring" hypothesis advanced by Zweifel, Felder and Meier (1999). This hypothesis amounts to distinguishing a mortality from a morbidity component in healthcare expenditure (HCE) and claiming that failure to make this distinction results in excessive estimates of future growth of HCE. A re-estimation based on a much larger data set is performed, using the refined econometric methodology. The main contribution is consistency, however. Rather than treating the mortality component as a residual in forecasting, its dynamics are analyzed in the same detail as that of the morbidity component when predicting the impact of population aging on the future growth of HCE. For the case of Switzerland, it finds this impact to be relatively small regardless of whether or not the mortality component is accounted for, thus qualifying the "red herring" hypothesis.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2007
Deposited On:28 Mar 2008 10:01
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:22
Publisher:Berkeley Electronic Press
ISSN:1558-9544
Additional Information:Copyright: Berkeley Electronic Press
Official URL:http://www.bepress.com/fhep/10/2/1/

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