Healthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status

TitleHealthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsJames P. Smith
JournalJournal of Economic Perspectives
Volume13
Issue2
Pagination145-66
Call Numberpubs_1999_Smith_JJEconPers.pdf
KeywordsConsumption and Savings, Health Conditions and Status, Income, Net Worth and Assets
Abstract

This paper sketches theoretical reasons why health may alter household savings and provides evidence on the empirical impact of health shocks on household wealth. The impacts on saving are quantitatively large and only partly explained by increased out-of-pocket medical expenses. Other contributing factors include reduced earnings and a revision in life expectancy. The author also delves into reasons why economic status, access to medical care, and deleterious personal behaviors have been rejected as insufficient explanations. New theories emphasize long-term impacts of early childhood or even intrauterine factors, cumulative effects of prolonged exposures to stress, or reactions of macrosocietal factors like rising levels of income inequality.

Notes

ProCite field 3 : RAND

URLhttp://www.aeaweb.org/jep/
Endnote Keywords

Health Production/Health Behavior/Health Shocks/Economic Status/Income/Savings/Wealth

Endnote ID

1100

Citation Key6634