nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2006‒12‒16
nine papers chosen by
Yong Yin
SUNY at Buffalo, USA

  1. Estimation of Individual Demand for Alcohol By Yuriy Andrienko; A. Nemtsov
  2. Growth and Longevity from the Industrial Revolution to the Future of an Aging Society By David, DE LA CROIX; Bo, MALMBERG
  3. Optimizing sterilized logistics in hospitals By Klundert Joris van de; Muls Philippe; Schadd Maarten
  4. Analysis of the Survey Response Behavior: An experience from a pilot survey of the health and living status of the 50s and beyond in Japan By Hidehiko Ichimura; Daiji Kawaguchi; Satoshi Shimizutani
  5. Screening disability insurance applications By de Jong, Philip; Lindeboom, Maarten; van der Klaauw, Bas
  6. Human Capital Inequality, Life Expectancy and Economic Growth By Amparo Castello-Climent; Rafael Domenech
  7. Evaluating Effects of Tax Preferences on Health Care Spending and Federal Revenues By John F. Cogan; R. Glenn Hubbard; Daniel P. Kessler
  8. Global Patterns of Income and Health: Facts, Interpretations, and Policies By Angus Deaton
  9. The Effects of the Ageing European Population on Economic Growth and Budgets: Implications for Immigration and Other Policies By Martin S. Feldstein

  1. By: Yuriy Andrienko (CEFIR); A. Nemtsov
    Abstract: Using individual data from RLMS, the longitudinal survey of the representative sample of the Russian population, we study static and dynamic models of demand for alcohol. We show the demand curve has traditional negative slope for any type of alcoholic drink: vodka, beer, and wine. We find substitution of moonshine for vodka with higher price on vodka and between vodka&beer with higher price on one of them. As a result of substitution vodka price has no impact on total ethanol consumption, while higher price on beer and wine reduce demand for ethanol. We also demonstrate that income has important effect on demand for alcoholic drinks. Risk to be drinker is rising with individual income. Higher income results in lower consumption of moonshine and in higher consumption of vodka, beer, and wine.
    Keywords: Alcohol; Demand; Russia
    JEL: I1 I18
    Date: 2006–01
    Abstract: Aging of the population will affect the growth path of all countries. To assess the historical and future importance of this claim we use two popular approaches and evaluate their merits and disadvantages by confronting them to Swedish data. We first stimulate an endogenous growth. Rising longevity increases the incentive to get education, which in turn has ever-lasting effects on growth through a human capital externality. Secondly, we consider a reduced-form statistical model based on the demographic dividend literature. Assuming that there is a common DGP guiding growth through the demographic transition, we use an estimate from post-war global data to backcast the Swedish historical GDP growth. Comparing the two approaches, encompassing tests show that each of them contains independent information on the Swedish growth path, suggesting that there is a benefit from combining them for long-term forecasting
    Keywords: Demographic Transition, Life Expectancy, Education, Income Growth
    JEL: J11 O41 I20 N33
  3. By: Klundert Joris van de; Muls Philippe; Schadd Maarten (METEOR)
    Abstract: This paper deals with the optimization of the flow of sterile instruments in hospital which takes place between the sterilization department and the operating theatre. This topic is especially of interest in view of the current attempts of hospitals to cut costs by outsourcing sterilization tasks. Oftentimes, outsourcing implies placing the sterilization unit at a larger distance, hence introducing a longer logistic loop, which may result in lower instrument availability, and higher cost. This paper discusses the optimization problems that have to besolved when redesigning processes so as to improve material availability and reduce cost. We consider changing the logistic management principles, use of visibility information, and optimizing the composition of the nets of sterile materials.
    Keywords: Economics (Jel: A)
    Date: 2006
  4. By: Hidehiko Ichimura; Daiji Kawaguchi; Satoshi Shimizutani
    Abstract: Exploiting a survey of aged population implemented in Tokyo, we examine the targeted individual's decision to respond the survey. The sampling of potential respondents is based on the resident registry compiled by the local governments that carries all targeted individual's information on sex, age and exact street address. We matched this data with the land price of the street address and the survey administrative information that records interviewer's information. Our empirical findings reveal that whether targeted individual responds the survey or not depends on age, gender and land price. Most significantly the decision critically depends on interviewers' unobserved heterogeneity. We speculate the interviewer's effort to obtain responses crucially determine whether the targeted individual responds to the survey. Given the random assignment of interviewers to the targeted individuals, we argue that interviewers' heterogeneity can be used as an excluded variable for the Heckman sample selection correction.
    Date: 2006–09
  5. By: de Jong, Philip (University of Amsterdam); Lindeboom, Maarten (Free University Amsterdam); van der Klaauw, Bas (Free University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of stricter screening of disability insurance applications. A large-scale experiment was setup where in two of the 26 Dutch regions case workers of the disability insurance administration were instructed to screen applications more stringently. The empirical results show that stricter screening reduces long-term sickness absenteeism and disability insurance applications. We find evidence for direct effects of stricter screening on work resumption during the period of sickness absence and for self-screening by potential disability insurance applicants. Stricter screening seems to improve targeting efficiency, without inducing negative spillover effects to the inflow into unemployment insurance. The costs of stricter screening are only a small fraction of the monetary benefits.
    Keywords: Disability insurance; experiment; policy evaluation; sickness absenteeism; self-screening
    JEL: J26 J65
    Date: 2006–11–30
  6. By: Amparo Castello-Climent (Institute of International Economics, University of Valencia); Rafael Domenech (Institute of International Economics, University of Valencia)
    Abstract: This paper presents a model in which inequality affects per capita income when individuals decide to invest in education taking into account their life expectancy, which depends to a large extent on the human capital of their parents. Our results show the existence of multiple steady states depending on the initial distribution of education. The low steady state is a poverty trap in which children raised in poor families have low life expectancy and work as non-educated workers. The empirical evidence suggests that the life expectancy mechanism explains a major part of the relationship between inequality and human capital accumulation.
    Keywords: Life expectancy, human capital, inequality.
    JEL: J10 O10 O40
    Date: 2006–09
  7. By: John F. Cogan; R. Glenn Hubbard; Daniel P. Kessler
    Abstract: In this paper, we calculate the consequences for health spending and federal revenues of an above-the-line deduction for out-of-pocket health spending. We show how the response of spending to this expansion in the tax preference can be specified as a function of a small number of behavioral parameters that have been estimated in the existing literature. We compare our estimates to those from other researchers. And, we use our analysis to derive some implications for tax policy toward HSAs.
    JEL: H2 H5 I1
    Date: 2006–12
  8. By: Angus Deaton
    Abstract: People in poor countries live shorter lives than people in rich countries so that, if we scale income by some index of health, there is more inequality in the world than if we consider income alone. Such international inequalities in life expectancy decreased for many years after 1945, and the strong correlation between income and life-expectancy might lead us to hope that economic growth will improve people's health as well as their material living conditions. I argue that the apparent convergence in life expectancies is not as beneficial as might appear, and that, while economic growth is the key to poverty reduction, there is no evidence that it will deliver automatic health improvements in the absence of appropriate conditions. The strong negative correlation between economic growth on the one hand and the proportionate rate of decline of infant and child mortality on the other vanishes altogether if we look at the relationship between growth and the absolute rate of decline in infant and child mortality. In effect, the correlation is between the level of infant mortality and the growth of real incomes, most likely reflecting the importance of factors such as education and the quality of institutions that affect both health and growth.
    JEL: I1 O1 O15
    Date: 2006–12
  9. By: Martin S. Feldstein
    Abstract: The ageing of the population presents a major fiscal challenge for the countries of Europe. The combination of increased longevity and a reduced birth rate will directly reduce the growth rates of the European economies by slowing the growth of the capital stock and by weakening the productivity of the labor force. This slower growth of GDP means a smaller tax base and less tax revenue. In addition, the current tax-financed systems of social pensions and health care will require substantial increases in the already high tax rates. The analysis in this paper shows that the common prescription of increased immigration would do little to reduce the future fiscal burden. The increased revenue from a large rise in immigration would finance only a small part of the coming rise in the cost of pension and health benefits. The only alternative to significantly higher tax rates or substantially lower retirement income is to shift from a pure tax-financed system to a mixed system that supplements the tax financed benefits with benefits based on increased saving financial investment.
    JEL: H2 H55 J61
    Date: 2006–12

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