On optimal subsidies for prevention and long-term care

DateJune 2024
AuteurPablo Garcia Sanchez, Luca Marchiori, Olivier Pierrard

We propose a two-period overlapping generation economy that incorporates health investment in preventive measures during youth. These preventive measures contribute to increased longevity and reduced frailty, which influence old-age care costs. As these costs are funded through pay-as-you-go social security contributions, investment in prevention creates externalities for the next generation. We analytically determine the optimal level of prevention and characterize the optimal health policy that a government should implement to achieve it. Our findings reveal that the optimal subsidy to healthcare exceeds the optimal subsidy to preventive measures. Furthermore, both subsidies are inversely related to the generosity of the public pension scheme. We explore the robustness of our results through various extensions and demonstrate their consistency with several patterns observed in cross-country OECD data.
JEL Codes: H23, I18, O41.
Keywords: Health, Prevention, Optimal Ramsey policy, Overlapping generations.

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