nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2007‒04‒14
nine papers chosen by
Yong Yin
SUNY at Buffalo, USA

  1. Informal and Formal Care among Single-living Elderly in Europe By K. Bolin; B. Lindgren; P. Lundborg
  2. The Impact of Child and Maternal Health Indicators on Female Labor Force Participation after Childbirth : Evidence for Germany By Annalena Dunkelberg; C. Katharina Spieß
  3. An Analysis of Hospital Efficiency and Productivity Growth Using the Luenberger Productivity Indicator By Carlos Pestana Barros; António Gomes de Menezes; José Cabral Vieira; Nicolas Peypoch; Bernardin Solonandrasana
  4. Competition and Waiting Times in Hospital Markets By Odd Rune Straume; Kurt R. Brekke; Luigi Siciliani
  5. Five Deaths a Day: Workplace Fatalities in Canada, 1993-2005 By Andrew Sharpe; Jill Hardt
  6. Age Differences in the Value of Statistical Life: Revealed Preference Evidence By Aldy, Joseph E.; Viscusi, W. Kip
  7. Why the Poor Get Fat: Weight Gain and Economic Insecurity By Trenton Smith; Christiana Stoddard; Michael G. Barnes
  9. Sick of work or too sick to work? Evidence on health shocks and early retirement from the BHPS By Nigel Rice; Jennifer Roberts; Andrew M. Jones

  1. By: K. Bolin (Lund University Centre for Health Economics, Lund, Sweden); B. Lindgren (Lund University Centre for Health Economics, Lund, Sweden); P. Lundborg (Lund University Centre for Health Economics, Lund, Sweden, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and NETSPAR)
    Abstract: The aims of this study were (1) to analyse whether informal care, provided by children or grandchildren to their elderly parents, and formal care are substitutes or complements, and (2) whether this relationship differs across Europe. The analyses were based on the newly developed SHARE (Survey of Health, Age, and Retirement in Europe) database. We found (1) that informal- and formal home care are substitutes, while informal care is a complement to doctor- and hospital visits, and (2) that these relationships in some cases differ according to a north-south gradient.
    JEL: I11 I12 J22
    Date: 2007–03–22
  2. By: Annalena Dunkelberg; C. Katharina Spieß
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the influence of children's health and mothers' physical and mental well-being on female labor force participation after childbirth in Germany. Our analysis uses data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) study, which enables us to measure chil-dren's health based on the occurrence of severe health problems including mental and physi-cal disabilities, hospitalizations, and preterm births. Since child health is measured at a very young age, we can rule out any of the reverse effects of maternal employment on child health identified in US studies. Within a two-year time period, we investigate the influence of these indicators on various aspects of female labor force participation after childbirth, including continuous labor force participation in the year of childbirth and the transition to employment in the year following childbirth. Since the majority of women in Germany do not go back to work within a year after childbirth, we also investigate their intention to return to work, and the preferred number of working hours. We find that the child's severe health problems have a significant negative effect on the mothers' labor force participation and a significant positive effect on her preferred number of working hours, but that hospitalizations or preterm births have no significant effect. For the mothers' own health, we find a significant negative effect of poor mental and physical wellbeing on female labor force participation within a year of child-birth. To our knowledge, this is the first empirical study of this kind on data outside the US.
    Keywords: Female labour supply, childhealth, well-being
    JEL: J22 J23 I19
    Date: 2007
  3. By: Carlos Pestana Barros (ISEG, Technical University of Lisbon); António Gomes de Menezes (University of the Azores and CEEAplA); José Cabral Vieira (University of the Azores, CEEAplA and IZA); Nicolas Peypoch (Université de Perpignan); Bernardin Solonandrasana (Université de Perpignan)
    Abstract: We analyze the efficiency and productivity growth of a representative sample of Portuguese hospitals from 1997 to 2004, using an innovative approach by employing the directional distance function and the Luenberger productivity indicator. The primary advantage of our approach is that both input contractions and output expansions are considered. Our model generates a productivity indicator that is decomposed into the usual constituents of productivity growth: technological change and efficiency change. The results show that, on average, Portuguese hospitals did not experience productivity growth during the period analyzed. In addition, the incidence of positive productivity growth across Portuguese hospitals was remarkably low.
    Keywords: hospitals, Luenberger productivity indicator, efficiency, technological change, productivity
    JEL: I11 I18 L5
    Date: 2007–03
  4. By: Odd Rune Straume (Universidade do Minho - NIPE); Kurt R. Brekke (Department of Economics and Helth Economics Bergen, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Luigi Siciliani (Department of Economics and Centre for Health Economics, University of York, Heslington)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of hospital competition on waiting times. We use a Salop-type model, with hospitals that differ in (geographical) location and, potentially, waiting time, and two types of patients; high benefit patients who choose between neighbouring hospitals (competitive segment), and low-benefit patients who decide whether or not to demand treatment from the closest hospital (monopoly segment). Compared with a benchmark case of regulated monopolies, we find that hospital competition leads to longer waiting times in equilibrium if the competitive segment is sufficiently large. Given a policy regime of hospital competition, the effect of incresed competition depends on the parameter of measurement: Lower travelling costs increase waiting times, higher hospital density redices waiting times, while the effect of a larger competitive segment is ambiguous. We also show that, if the competitive segment is large, hospital competition is socially preferrable to regulated monopolies only if the (regulated) treatment price is sufficiently higher.
    Keywords: Hospitals, Competition, Waiting times
    JEL: H42 I11 I18 L13
    Date: 2007
  5. By: Andrew Sharpe; Jill Hardt
    Abstract: According to data collected by the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada, 1,097 workplace fatalities were recorded in Canada in 2005, up from 758 in 1993. As Canadians work on average 230 days per year, this means that there were nearly five work-related deaths per work day in this country. The objective of this study is to provide a detailed analysis of the characteristics of persons who die on the job and the reasons they die, and to gain a better understanding of developments over time in this key indicator of job quality and labour market well-being.
    Keywords: Workplace fatalities, Worker's compensation, Dangerous industries, Occupational diseases, International comparisions.
    JEL: I10 J28 J30 J38 J81 J83 Z0
    Date: 2006–12
  6. By: Aldy, Joseph E. (Resources for the Future); Viscusi, W. Kip
    Abstract: Revealed preference evidence, especially based on wage-risk tradeoffs in the labor market, provides the primary empirical basis for analyses of the value of statistical life (VSL). This market evidence also provides guidance on how VSL varies with age. While labor market studies have generated conflicting evidence—some showing that VSL rises with age and others showing that VSL declines with age—more refined estimates that take into account the age variation in job fatality risks or life-cycle patterns of consumption show an inverted-U relation between the VSL and age. The value of a statistical life year shows a similar pattern and is not time-invariant. Applying estimates of the VSL-age relationship to an analysis of the Clear Skies initiative illustrates the implications of recognizing the age-VSL relationship.
    Keywords: value of statistical life, VSL, value of statistical life year, risk
    JEL: I10 J17 J28
    Date: 2007–04–06
  7. By: Trenton Smith; Christiana Stoddard; Michael G. Barnes (School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University)
    Abstract: Something about being poor makes people fat. Though there are many possible explanations for the income-body weight gradient, we investigate a promising butlittle-studied hypothesis: that economic insecurity acts as an independent cause of weight gain. We use data on working age men from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79) to identify the effect of various measures of economic insecurity on weight gain. We find in particular that over the 12-year period between 1988 and 2000, a one point (0.01) increase in the probability of becoming unemployed causes weight gain over this period to increase by about one pound, and each realized drop in annual income results in an increase of about 5.5 pounds. The mechanism also appears to work in reverse, with health insurance and government "social safety net" payments leading to smaller weight gains.
    Keywords: obesity, unemployment, moral hazard, NLSY79
    JEL: D12 I12 I18 I38 J22 J65
    Date: 2007–03
  8. By: Marquez, Pablo
    Abstract: The author studies three aspects of human live valuation and its relation with cost benefit analysis and regulation. More precisely the author addresses the problem of valuation of a statistical human life and its relation with cost benefit analysis in mortality risk reduction. First, studies the debate about Valuation of a Statistical Human Life (VSL) and Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) in mortality risks regulation; second, deals with two challenges to CBA and VSL, these are (a) the problem of discount rates and the problem of (dis)counting of future human lives, and (b), tests if culture (represented as a set of values) has an incidence in risk preferences and therefore, in willingness to pay for life in different countries.
    Keywords: Cost Benefit Analysis; Value of a Statistical Life; Culture Consequences; Regulation; Cross-country analysis
    JEL: K32 K13 K29 K23
    Date: 2006–12
  9. By: Nigel Rice; Jennifer Roberts (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield); Andrew M. Jones
    Abstract: We follow individuals as they retire using discrete-time hazard models applied to a stock sample from 12 waves of the British Household Panel Survey. Results confirm that health shocks are a determinant of retirement age and are quantitatively more important than pension entitlement. This is the case for both men and women and is observed for both a measure of health limitations and a measure of latent health status obtained from a generalized ordered probit model. Further, our results provide evidence that, for women, the health status of their partner impacts on their retirement decisions; an effect that is not evident for men.
    Keywords: Health, Retirement, Discrete-time duration models
    JEL: H55 I12 J26
    Date: 2007–01

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