Data Management

Understanding The Economic Consequences Of Shifting Trends In Population Health

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Executive Summary

The public economic burden of shifting trends in population health remains uncertain. Sustained increases in obesity, diabetes, and other diseases could reduce life expectancy - with a concomitant decrease in the public-sector's annuity burden - but these savings may be offset by worsening functional status, which increases health care spending, reduces labor supply, and increases public assistance. Using a microsimulation approach, the authors quantify the competing public-finance consequences of shifting trends in population health for medical care costs, labor supply, earnings, wealth, tax revenues, and government expenditures.

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