What Determines the Health Care Expenditure of High Income Countries? A Dynamic Estimation

Yan Feng, Toby Watt, Anita Charlesworth, Grace Marsden, Adam Roberts, Jon Sussex


Constraining the rise in costs continues to be a major focus of health care policy in high income countries. It is important for governments to understand what is driving the rise in health care expenditure and what the impact will be over the coming years. This paper aims to provide an alternative econometric model to ascertain the determinants of health expenditure. Data from the OECD and IMS data bases for 18 OECD countries between 1988 and 2012 is collected. The analysis is at the year and country level. This study applies three methods: (1) panel data models with country fixed effects; (2) a first difference model; (3) a Vector Error Correction Model to account for the long run and short run effects as well as the endogeneity of the explanatory variables. The empirical results suggest that the use of different econometric specifications has a significant impact on both establishing the determinants of health expenditure and their magnitudes. Based on results from the Vector Error Correction Model, the GDP is considered as the only driver for country level health care expenditure growth. A 1% increase in the GDP is associated with a 1.1% increase in the health care expenditure.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/aef.v4i6.2586


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Applied Economics and Finance    ISSN 2332-7294 (Print)   ISSN 2332-7308 (Online)

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