International Differences in Longevity and Health and Their Economic Consequences

36 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2009 Last revised: 19 Aug 2010

See all articles by Pierre-Carl Michaud

Pierre-Carl Michaud

University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) - Department of Economics; Centre Interuniversitaire sur le Risque, les Politiques Economiques et l'Emploi (CIRPÉE); RAND Corporation, Labor and Population; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Netspar

Dana P. Goldman

RAND Corporation; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Darius N. Lakdawalla

University of Southern California - Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics; RAND Corporation; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Adam Gailey

RAND Corporation

Yuhui Zheng

RAND Corporation

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2009

Abstract

In 1975, 50 year-old Americans could expect to live slightly longer than their European counterparts. By 2005, American life expectancy at that age has diverged substantially compared to Europe. We find that this growing longevity gap is primarily the symptom of real declines in the health of near-elderly Americans, relative to their European peers. In particular, we use a microsimulation approach to project what US longevity would look like, if US health trends approximated those in Europe. We find that differences in health can explain most of the growing gap in remaining life expectancy. In addition, we quantify the public finance consequences of this deterioration in health. The model predicts that gradually moving American cohorts to the health status enjoyed by Europeans could save up to $1.1 trillion in discounted total health expenditures from 2004 to 2050.

Suggested Citation

Michaud, Pierre-Carl and Goldman, Dana P. and Lakdawalla, Darius N. and Gailey, Adam and Zheng, Yuhui, International Differences in Longevity and Health and Their Economic Consequences (August 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w15235. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1454970

Pierre-Carl Michaud

University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 8888, Downtown Station
Montreal, Quebec H3C 3P8
Canada

Centre Interuniversitaire sur le Risque, les Politiques Economiques et l'Emploi (CIRPÉE) ( email )

Pavillon De Sève
Ste-Foy, Quebec G1K 7P4
Canada

RAND Corporation, Labor and Population ( email )

Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Netspar ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Dana P. Goldman (Contact Author)

RAND Corporation ( email )

P.O. Box 2138
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Darius N. Lakdawalla

University of Southern California - Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics ( email )

635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3333
United States

RAND Corporation ( email )

P.O. Box 2138
1700 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Adam Gailey

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
P.O. Box 2138
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

Yuhui Zheng

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
P.O. Box 2138
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
51
Abstract Views
486
rank
257,011
PlumX Metrics