NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
loading...

Two Hundred Years of Health and Medical Care: The Importance of Medical Care for Life Expectancy Gains

Maryaline Catillon, David Cutler, Thomas Getzen

NBER Working Paper No. 25330
Issued in December 2018
NBER Program(s):The Program on Aging, The Program on the Development of the American Economy, The Development Economics Program, The Health Care Program, The Health Economics Program, The Public Economics Program

Using two hundred years of national and Massachusetts data on medical care and health, we examine how central medical care is to life expectancy gains. While common theories about medical care cost growth stress growing demand, our analysis highlights the importance of supply side factors, including the major public investments in research, workforce training and hospital construction that fueled a surge in spending over the 1955-1975 span. There is a stronger case that personal medicine affected health in the second half of the twentieth century than in the preceding 150 years. Finally, we consider whether medical care productivity decreases over time, and find that spending increased faster than life expectancy, although the ratio stabilized in the past two decades.

download in pdf format
   (854 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25330

 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

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

Contact Us