14 November 2022

Departmental seminar 16-11-2022 at 15:00

Departmental seminar 16-11-2022 at 15:00

Wednesday, 16 November 2022, 15:00 Athens time

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Presenter: Margaris Panos, Concordia University

In this paper we develop a life cycle model that features pecuniary and non-pecuniary investments in health in order to rationalize the socioeconomic gradients in health and life expectancy in the United States. Agents accumulate health capital, which affects labor productivity, the distribution of medical spending shocks, and life expectancy. We find that differences in lifetime income account for the lion's share of the observed life expectancy gap. Providing universal health insurance coverage has little impact on the inequalities in health and longevity. Our findings suggest that this is driven by the fact that, even though preventive medical spending increases, time spent in health promoting activities declines, as individuals are no longer worried about avoiding high curative medical expenditure shocks due to increased health insurance coverage.

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