NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Kaushik Ghosh

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Working Papers

June 2016Understanding the Improvement in Disability Free Life Expectancy In the U.S. Elderly Population
with Michael Chernew, David M. Cutler, Mary Beth Landrum: w22306
Understanding how healthy lifespans are changing is essential for public policy. This paper explores changes in healthy lifespan in the U.S. over time and considers reasons for the changes. We reach three fundamental conclusions. First, we show that healthy life increased measurably in the US between 1992 and 2008. Years of healthy life expectancy at age 65 increased by 1.8 years over that time period, while disabled life expectancy fell by 0.5 years. Second, we identify the medical conditions that contribute the most to changes in healthy life expectancy. The largest improvements in healthy life expectancy come from reduced incidence and improved functioning for those with cardiovascular disease and vision problems. Together, these conditions account for 63 percent of the improvement ...
August 2013Evidence for Significant Compression of Morbidity In the Elderly U.S. Population
with David M. Cutler, Mary Beth Landrum: w19268
The question of whether morbidity is being compressed into the period just before death has been at the center of health debates in the United States for some time. Compression of morbidity would lead to longer life but less rapid medical spending increases than if life extension were accompanied by expanding morbidity. Using nearly 20 years of data from the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, we examine how health is changing by time period until death. We show that functional measures of health are improving, and more so the farther away from death the person is surveyed. Disease rates are relatively constant at all times until death. On net, there is strong evidence for compression of morbidity based on measured disability, but less clear evidence based on disease-free survival.

Published: Evidence for Significant Compression of Morbidity in the Elderly U.S. Population, David M. Cutler, Kaushik Ghosh, Mary Beth Landrum. in Discoveries in the Economics of Aging, Wise. 2014

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