James Banks

Professor James Banks

Senior Research Fellow


PhD Economics, University College London, 1998

MSc Economics, London School of Economics, 1990

BSc Economics (1st Class), Bristol University, 1988

James is Professor of Economics at the University of Manchester and Deputy Research Director at the IFS. His research focuses on empirical modelling of individual economic behaviour over the life-cycle, with particular focus on consumption and spending patterns, saving and asset accumulation, housing dynamics, and retirement and pension choices. Recent work has also begun to look at broader issues in the economics of ageing, such as health, physical and cognitive functioning and their association with labour market and broader socioeconomic status; the dynamics of work disability; the nature of expectations of retirement, health and longevity.

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External web page: University of Manchester

Life-cycle consumption patterns at older ages in the US and the UK: can medical expenditures explain the difference?

| Working Paper

In this paper we document significantly steeper declines in nondurable expenditures in the UK compared to the US, in spite of income paths being similar. We explore several possible causes, including different employment paths, housing ownership and expenses, levels and paths of health status, number of household members, and out-of -pocket medical expenditures. Among all the potential explanations considered, we find that those to do with healthcare—differences in levels and age paths in medical expenses—can fully account for the steeper declines in nondurable consumption in the UK compared to the US.

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