1887

OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

Health Status Determinants

Lifestyle, Environment, Health Care Resources and Efficiency

This paper aims to shed light on the contribution of health care and other determinants to the health status of the population and to provide evidence on whether or not health care resources are producing similar value for money across OECD countries. First, it discusses the pros and cons of various indicators of the health status, concluding that mortality and longevity indicators have some drawbacks but remain the best available proxies. Second, it suggests that changes in health care spending, lifestyle factors (smoking and alcohol consumption as well as diet), education, pollution and income have been important factors behind improvements in health status. Third, it derives estimates of countries’ relative performance in transforming health care resources into longevity from two different methods – panel data regressions and data envelopment analysis – which give remarkably consistent results. The empirical estimates suggest that potential efficiency gains might be large enough to raise life expectancy at birth by almost three years on average for OECD countries, while a 10% increase in total health spending would increase life expectancy by three to four months.

English

Keywords: health status, panel data regressions, spending efficiency, data envelopment analysis, healthcare, public expenditure
JEL: O57: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economywide Country Studies / Comparative Studies of Countries; I12: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Health Behavior; H51: Public Economics / National Government Expenditures and Related Policies / National Government Expenditures and Health; C23: Mathematical and Quantitative Methods / Single Equation Models; Single Variables / Single Equation Models; Single Variables: Panel Data Models; Spatio-temporal Models
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