Faculté des sciences économiques et sociales

Medical and nursery care with endogenous health and longevity

Schünemann, Johannes ; Strulik, Holger ; Trimborn, Timo

(Working Papers SES ; 505)

For the population over 65, nursery care expenditures constitute on average the largest share in total health expenditures. In this paper, we distinguish between medical care, intended to improve ones state of health, and personal care required for daily routine. Personal care can be either carried out autonomously or by a third party. In the course of aging, autonomous personal care is... More

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    Summary
    For the population over 65, nursery care expenditures constitute on average the largest share in total health expenditures. In this paper, we distinguish between medical care, intended to improve ones state of health, and personal care required for daily routine. Personal care can be either carried out autonomously or by a third party. In the course of aging, autonomous personal care is eventually substituted by nursery care. We set up a life-cycle model in which individuals are subject to physiological aging, calibrate it with data from gerontology, and analyze the interplay between medical and nursery care. We replicate health behavior and life expectancy of individuals and in particular the empirically observed patterns of medical and nursery care expenditure. We then analyze the impact of better health and rising life expectancy, triggered by rising income and medical progress, on the expected cost of nursery care in the future. We predict an elasticity of nursery care expenditure with respect to life expectancy of 1/3. In terms of present value at age 20, life-time nursery care expenditure is predicted to decline with rising life expectancy.