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Income and health spending : evidence from oil price shocks

Author: Daron Acemoglu; Amy Finkelstein; Matt Notowidigdo; National Bureau of Economic Research.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, ©2009.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 14744.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Health expenditures as a share of GDP have more than tripled over the last half century. A common conjecture is that this is primarily a consequence of rising real per capita income, which more than doubled over the same period. We investigate this hypothesis empirically by instrumenting for local area income with time-series variation in global oil prices between 1970 and 1990 interacted with cross-sectional  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Daron Acemoglu; Amy Finkelstein; Matt Notowidigdo; National Bureau of Economic Research.
OCLC Number: 310351564
Notes: "February 2009."
Description: 1 online resource (74 pages) : illustrations, digital.
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 14744.
Responsibility: Daron Acemoglu, Amy Finkelstein, Matthew J. Notowidigdo.

Abstract:

Health expenditures as a share of GDP have more than tripled over the last half century. A common conjecture is that this is primarily a consequence of rising real per capita income, which more than doubled over the same period. We investigate this hypothesis empirically by instrumenting for local area income with time-series variation in global oil prices between 1970 and 1990 interacted with cross-sectional variation in the oil reserves across different areas of the Southern United States. This strategy enables us to capture both the partial equilibrium and the local general equilibrium effects of an increase in income on health expenditures. Our central estimate is an income elasticity of 0.7, with an elasticity of 1.1 as the upper end of the 95 percent confidence interval. Point estimates from alternative specifications fall on both sides of our central estimate, but are almost always less than 1. We also present evidence suggesting that there are unlikely to be substantial national or global general equilibrium effects of rising income on health spending, for example through induced innovation. Our overall reading of the evidence is that rising income is unlikely to be a major driver of the rising health share of GDP.

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