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Is American Pet Health Care (Also) Uniquely Inefficient?

Liran Einav, Amy Finkelstein, Atul Gupta

NBER Working Paper No. 22669
Issued in September 2016
NBER Program(s):Aging, Health Care, Public Economics

We document four similarities between American human healthcare and American pet care: (i) rapid growth in spending as a share of GDP over the last two decades; (ii) strong income-spending gradient; (iii) rapid growth in the employment of healthcare providers; and (iv) similar propensity for high spending at the end of life. We speculate about possible implications of these similar patterns in two sectors that share many common features but differ markedly in institutional features, such as the prevalence of insurance and of public sector involvement.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22669

Published: Liran Einav & Amy Finkelstein & Atul Gupta, 2017. "Is American Pet Health Care (Also) Uniquely Inefficient?," American Economic Review, vol 107(5), pages 491-495.

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