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More than one red herring? Heterogeneous effects of ageing on healthcare utilisation

Joan Costa-Font () and Cristina Vilaplana-Prieto

LSE Research Online Documents on Economics from London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library

Abstract: We study the effect of ageing, defined as an extra year of life, on health care utilisation. We disentangle the direct effect of ageing, from other alternative explanations such as the presence of comorbidities and endogenous time to death (TTD) that are argued to absorb the effect of ageing (so‐called ‘red herring’ hypothesis). We exploit individual level end of life data from several European countries that record the use of medicine, outpatient and inpatient care and long‐term care. Consistently with the ‘red herring hypothesis’, we find that corrected TTD estimates are significantly different from uncorrected ones, and their effect size exceeds that of an extra year of life, which in turn is moderated by individual comorbidities. Corrected estimates suggest an overall attenuated effect of ageing, which does not influence outpatient care utilisation. These results suggest the presence of ‘more than one red herring’ depending on the type of health care examined.

Keywords: ageing; cormorbidities; endogeneous time to death (TTD); health care utilisation; home help use and comorbidity; hospital care; medicines use; time to death; Wiley (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 22 pages
Date: 2020-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age and nep-eur
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Published in Health Economics, October, 2020, 29(S1), pp. 8 - 29. ISSN: 1057-9230

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Related works:
Journal Article: ‘More than one red herring'? Heterogeneous effects of ageing on health care utilisation (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: 'More than One Red Herring'? Heterogeneous Effects of Ageing on Healthcare Utilisation (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: 'More Than One Red Herring'? Heterogeneous Effects of Ageing on Healthcare Utilisation (2020) Downloads
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