Follow us
Publications Commentary Research People Events News Resources and Videos About IFS
Home Publications Life-cycle consumption patterns at older ages in the United States and the United Kingdom: can medical expenditures explain the difference?

Life-cycle consumption patterns at older ages in the United States and the United Kingdom: can medical expenditures explain the difference?

Journal article | American Economic Journal: Economic Policy

This paper documents significantly steeper declines in nondurable expenditures at older ages in the United Kingdom compared to the United States, in spite of income paths being similar. Several possible causes are explored, 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, those relating to health care—differences in levels and age paths in medical expenses and medical expenditure risk—can fully account for the steeper declines in nondurable consumption in the United Kingdom compared to the United States.

More on this topic

IFS Working Paper W18/05
The 1996 PRWORA reform introduced time limits on the receipt of welfare in the United States.
Newspaper article
The Institute for Fiscal Studies says that a large chunk of the £200bn debt held by UK households is manageable
Press release
In a new report published today, IFS researchers look at when and why debt has the potential to be a problem for households.
Presentation
Presentation
When might debt cause immediate problems?