The Impact of Death-Related Costs on Health Care Expenditure: A Survey

ENEPRI Research Reports No. 17

23 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2012

Date Written: February 1, 2006


In the economic policy debate it is often stated that population ageing will lead to huge increases in the age-related components of public expenditure – primarily pensions and health care. This paper analyses a factor that may, at least partly, alleviate the fear that increased life expectancy will accelerate the rise in health-care spending: namely the fact that independent of decedent age, the bulk of per capita health-care costs are concentrated in the last years of life (the so-called ‘mortality-related’ costs). It surveys the empirical literature on health economics, presenting the main results obtained by studies on the interaction among age, proximity to mortality and health-care expenditure. Based on this analysis, it concludes with certainty that age alone is not a good predictor of rises in health-care spending, and that proximity to mortality must also be used as a predictor of health-care expenditure.

Keywords: death-related costs, health care expenditure, health care, health, ageing, mortality

Suggested Citation

Raitano, Michele, The Impact of Death-Related Costs on Health Care Expenditure: A Survey (February 1, 2006). ENEPRI Research Reports No. 17, Available at SSRN: or

Michele Raitano (Contact Author)

Sapienza University of Rome ( email )

Via del Castro Laurenziano 9
Roma, Rome 00161

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