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Substituting Leisure for Health Expenditure: A General Equilibrium-Based Empirical Investigation

Sheng-Ti Hung, Kevin Huang () and Hui He ()
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Sheng-Ti Hung: Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa

No 1310, 2013 Meeting Papers from Society for Economic Dynamics

Abstract: We develop a general equilibrium macroeconomic model with endogenous health accumulation, and use the model's equilibrium condition to estimate the elasticity of substitution between medical care and leisure time in maintaining health based on a cross-country panel dataset. Our econometric estimates imply that increasing health-enhancing leisure time can substantially reduce national health expenditure, and thus may also help resolve the pressing fiscal uncertainty. Our study highlights the importance of several current national initiatives, such as "Let's Move!", from not only health but macroeconomic perspectives. Our study also provides a guidance to a growing literature on macro-health in modeling health production.

Date: 2013
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