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Measuring Changes in Health Capital

José M. Labeaga, Xisco Oliver and Amedeo Spadaro

No 2005-15, Working Papers from FEDEA

Abstract: This study is aimed to estimate the value of the change in health in Catalonia (Spain), from 1994 to 2002. Quality-adjusted years of life (QALYs) and years of life (YOL) for genders and different ages were calculated, by using survival rates and health state scores. The source of data was the Catalonia Health Survey (n94=15.000; n02=8.400), which includes questions directly based on EQ-5D measures. Health state scores were obtained by applying the Spanish EQ-5D index tariffs (TTO and VAS). We assumed a monetary value for a QALY of $100,000 and a discount rate of 3%, for preserving comparability with other contributions in the literature. Our results shown that the health capital stock has diminished from 1994 to 2002 due to a worsening in the quality of life of the population. Other studies report one such worsening in the younger age groups and an improvement in older age groups. In our case, the deterioration affects to all age groups. More data is necessary to determine if the drop in quality of life was due to an exogenous shock or to a structural tendency.

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