Do Spa Visits Improve Health: Evidence from German Micro Data
University of Pennsylvania Law School; Erasmus School of Law; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center
George Mason University - Buchanan Center Political Economy; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics
FSU College of Law, Law and Economics Paper No. 05-13
FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 124
The health benefits of spas have been hypothesized for centuries. If this hypothesis is correct, spa therapy offers a low cost alternative to more expensive and potentially more invasive medical treatments for ailments such as back pain and arthritis. We use individual-level panel data to isolate the effect of spa therapy on missed work days and hospital visits in Germany. Simple correlations suggest a self-selection bias - spa visits are associated with increased absenteeism and hospitalization. However, when we exploit the longitudinal nature of the data, we find that spa therapy leads to a statistically significant reduction in both absenteeism and hospitalization, though it is not clear if these health benefits justify the cost of spa therapy.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 20
Keywords: alternative medicine, insurance, hospitalization, medical expenditures
JEL Classification: H51, I12, I18, J32, K32working papers series
Date posted: September 11, 2004
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