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

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

IFS Working Paper W16/16

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.

This working paper was updated on 10/09/18.

More on this topic

Report
This report examines the effect that variation in the cost of living has on the labour supply of existing nurses in NHS acute trusts. Retention of nursing staff within the NHS is a key policy issue. Pay policy – and the ability that trusts and nurses have to react to local working conditions and ...
Press release
Improving the retention of NHS staff has been a long-term policy challenge, and will be of even greater importance in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. A new report by researchers at the Institute for Fiscal Studies and Imperial College London, as part of the National Institute for Health ...
Newspaper article
Hancock is just the latest in a very long line to grasp for that illusion of control. One day, probably in a decade or so, one of his successors will be so burnt by the experience of attempting to achieve the impossible that another re-disorganisation will be visited upon a system still doing its ...
Press release
During the first national lockdown, spending plunged by around a third. But from October to November (the second English lockdown), spending in England increased by about 2%. While that’s considerably weaker than the 10% growth seen in Scotland over the same period, clearly the effects of the ...