Provide, Provide: The Economics of Aging

Victor R. Fuchs

NBER Working Paper No. 6642
Issued in July 1998
NBER Program(s):   AG

Data from the Bureau of the Census, the Health Care Financing Administration, the NBER Tax File and the Current Population Survey are used to estimate for the elderly (ages 65 and above) consumption of health care and income available for other goods and services in 1975, 1985, and 1995. Extrapolation of 1975-1995 and 1985-1995 trends are used to obtain projections for 2020. Even the more conservative projection shows that in 2020 health care for the elderly would consume 10 percent of the GDP, and income available for other goods and services would show an absolute decline from the 1995 level. Changes in age-specific consumption of health care are found to be much more important than demographic changes. Income inequality among the elderly in 1995 is found to be much less than at younger ages.

download in pdf format
   (899 K)

email paper

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

This paper is available as PDF (899 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w6642

Published: Rettenmaier, Andrew J. and Thomas R. Saving (eds.) Medicare reform: Issues and answers, Bush School Series in the Economics of Public Policy, vol. 1. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1999.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Garber, MaCurdy, and McClellan Diagnosis and Medicare Expenditures at the End of Life
Fuchs w8236 The Financial Problems of the Elderly: A Holistic Approach
Fuchs w6755 Health Care for the Elderly: How Much? Who Will Pay for It?
Bloom, Canning, and Fink w16705 Implications of Population Aging for Economic Growth
Bhattacharya and Bundorf w11303 The Incidence of the Healthcare Costs of Obesity
NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us