Does ageing call for a reform of the health care sector?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

A popular view is that ageing populations increase health expenditure to GDP ratios because health expenditure correlates positively with age and because the concomitant shrinking of the labour force depresses GDP. The resulting increase in transfers from the young to the old then calls for a reform of health care policies. This article critically examines the arguments underlying this view. It gives credit to factors that counteract the expenditure effect, the effects upon health care market and labour market distortions and the effects upon intergenerational solidarity. Although important, these factors are found to have insufficient weight to invalidate the popular view.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-31
JournalCESifo Economic Studies
Volume52
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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health expenditure
health care
expenditures
Gross Domestic Product
reform
aging population
health
labor force
labor market
solidarity
expenditure
credit
market
effect
Healthcare
Health expenditures
Factors

Cite this

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title = "Does ageing call for a reform of the health care sector?",
abstract = "A popular view is that ageing populations increase health expenditure to GDP ratios because health expenditure correlates positively with age and because the concomitant shrinking of the labour force depresses GDP. The resulting increase in transfers from the young to the old then calls for a reform of health care policies. This article critically examines the arguments underlying this view. It gives credit to factors that counteract the expenditure effect, the effects upon health care market and labour market distortions and the effects upon intergenerational solidarity. Although important, these factors are found to have insufficient weight to invalidate the popular view.",
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Does ageing call for a reform of the health care sector? / Westerhout, Ed.

In: CESifo Economic Studies, Vol. 52, No. 1, 2006, p. 1-31.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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AB - A popular view is that ageing populations increase health expenditure to GDP ratios because health expenditure correlates positively with age and because the concomitant shrinking of the labour force depresses GDP. The resulting increase in transfers from the young to the old then calls for a reform of health care policies. This article critically examines the arguments underlying this view. It gives credit to factors that counteract the expenditure effect, the effects upon health care market and labour market distortions and the effects upon intergenerational solidarity. Although important, these factors are found to have insufficient weight to invalidate the popular view.

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