NBER Working Papers and Publications
|August 2016||The Rise in Life Expectancy, Health Trends among the Elderly, and the Demand for Care - A Selected Literature Review|
The objective is to review the evidence on (a) ageing and health and (b) the demand for health- and social services among the elderly. Issues are: does health status of the elderly improve over time, and how do the trends in health status of the elderly affect the demand for health- and elderly care? It is not a complete review, but it covers most of recent empirical studies.
The reviewed literature provides strong evidence that the prevalence of chronic disease among the elderly has increased over time. There is also fairly strong evidence that the consequences of disease have become less problematic due to medical progress: decreased mortality risk, milder and slower development over time, making the time with disease (and health-care treatment) longer but less troublesome than before....
|January 2012||The Double Facetted Nature of Health Investments - Implications for Equilibrium and Stability in a Demand-for-Health Framework|
with Kristian Bolin: w17789
A number of behaviours influence health in a non-monotonic way. Physical activity and alcohol consumption, for instance, may be beneficial to one's health in moderate but detrimental in large quantities. We develop a demand-for-health framework that incorporates the feature of a physiologically optimal level. An individual may still choose a physiologically non-optimal level, because of the trade-off in his or her preferences for health versus other utility-affecting commodities. However, any deviation from the physiologically optimal level will be punished with respect to health. A set of steady-state comparative statics is derived regarding the effects on the demand for health and health-related behaviour, indicating that individuals react differently to exogenous changes, depending on t...
|January 2010||Asymmetric Information and the Demand for Voluntary Health Insurance in Europe|
with Kristian Bolin, Daniel Hedblom, Anna Lindgren: w15689
Several past studies have found health risk to be negatively correlated with the probability of voluntary health insurance. This is contrary to what one would expect from standard textbook models of adverse selection and moral hazard. The two most common explanations to the counter-intuitive result are either (1) that risk-aversion is correlated with health -- i.e. that healthier individuals are also more risk-averse -- or (2) that insurers are able to discriminate among customers based on observable health-risk characteristics. We revisited these arguments, using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). Self-assessed health served as an indicator of risk: better health, lower risk. We did, indeed, observe a negative correlation between risk and insurance bu...
|June 2008||Utilisation of Physician Services in the 50+ Population. The Relative Importance of Individual versus Institutional Factors in 10 European Countries|
with Kristian Bolin, Anna Lindgren, Petter Lundborg: w14096
We analysed the relative importance of individual versus institutional factors in explaining variations in the utilisation of physician services among the 50+ in ten European countries. The importance of the latter was investigated, distinguishing between organisational (explicit) and cultural (implicit) institutional factors, by analysing the influence of supply side factors, such as physician density and physician reimbursement, and demand side factors, such as co-payment and gate-keeping, while controlling for a number of individual characteristics, using cross-national individual-level data from SHARE. Individual differences in health status accounted for about 50 percent of the between-country variation in physician visits, while the organisational and cultural factors considered each...
Published: Kristian Bolin & Anna Lindgren & Björn Lindgren & Petter Lundborg, 2009. "Utilisation of physician services in the 50+ population: the relative importance of individual versus institutional factors in 10 European countries," International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics, vol 9(1), pages 83-112.