Department of Economics
University College London
30 Gordon St
London WC1H 0AX
Institutional Affiliations: University College London and IFS
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|March 2020||Medical Spending, Bequests, and Asset Dynamics Around the Time of Death|
with John Bailey Jones, Mariacristina De Nardi, Eric French, Rachel Rodgers: w26879
Using data from the Health and Retirement Survey, we document the changes in assets that occur before a person's death. Applying an event study approach, we find that during the 6 years preceding their deaths, the assets of single decedents decline, relative to those of similar single survivors, by an additional $20,000 on average. Over the same time span, the assets of couples who lose a spouse fall, relative to those of similar surviving couples, by an additional $90,000 on average. Households experiencing a death also incur higher out-of-pocket medical spending and other end-of-life expenses. This elevated spending is sufficient to explain (in accounting terms) the asset declines observed for singles but falls short of explaining the declines observed for couples. Bequests from the d...
|May 2018||The Lifetime Medical Spending of Retirees|
with John Bailey Jones, Mariacristina De Nardi, Eric French, Justin Kirschner: w24599
Using dynamic models of health, mortality, and out-of-pocket medical spending (both inclusive and net of Medicaid payments), we estimate the distribution of lifetime medical spending that retired U.S. households face over the remainder of their lives. We find that households who turned 70 in 1992 will on average incur $122,000 in medical spending, including Medicaid payments, over their remaining lives. At the top tail, 5 percent of households will incur more than $300,000, and 1 percent of households will incur over $600,000 in medical spending inclusive of Medicaid. The level and the dispersion of this spending diminish only slowly with age. Although permanent income, initial health, and initial marital status have large effects on this spending, much of the dispersion in lifetime spendi...