Tags: pet | vet bill | health care | costs

Your Pet's Vet Bill Offers Insight Into Higher US Health Costs

Your Pet's Vet Bill Offers Insight Into Higher US Health Costs

(Getty Images/Joe Raedle)

Friday, 30 September 2016 08:03 AM

Whatever factors are pushing up health care costs for American humans seem to extend to their four-legged friends.

New research looks at pet and human health spending, and find that preference – not just regulatory and structural issues – could be helping to push up U.S. healthcare costs. This week's research wrap also takes a look at population aging's implications for wage growth and globalization's inflation effects. Check out this roundup every week for blurbs on, and links to, interesting or influential economic research from around the world. 

Your pet's doctor visit is inefficient, too

Healthcare spending on pets has been growing strongly, and it offers some insight into what's happening in the U.S. human health system, Stanford University's Liran Einav and Atul Gupta and Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Amy Finkelstein write. They find that many features of the pet health care sector are "remarkably similar" to those of the human industry. Both have seen rapid growth as a share of GDP over the last two decades and high end-of-life spending, for instance.

This is true despite the fact that insurance and regulation are both less prevalent in the pet-healthcare world, and  so "it should give us pause before attributing the large and rising healthcare costs in the U.S. solely to the prevalence of insurance and government involvement," the authors write.

See also:

Is American Pet Health Care (Also) Uniquely Inefficient? Issued September 2016
Available on the NBER website

 

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Whatever factors are pushing up health care costs for American humans seem to extend to their four-legged friends.
pet, vet bill, health care, costs
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2016-03-30
Friday, 30 September 2016 08:03 AM
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