This paper presents a theory of the demand for health, health investment and longevity, building on the human capital framework for health and addressing limitations of existing models. It predicts a negative correlation between health investment and health, that the health of wealthy and educated individuals declines more slowly and that they live longer, that current health status is a function of the initial level of health and the histories of prior health investments made, that health investment rapidly increases near the end of life and that length of life is finite as a result of limited life-time resources (the budget constraint). It derives a structural relation between health and health investment (e.g., medical care) that is suitable for empirical testing.
This paper series was made possible by the NIA funded RAND Center for the Study of Aging and the NICHD funded RAND Population Research Center.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation working paper series. RAND working papers are intended to share researchers' latest findings and to solicit informal peer review. They have been approved for circulation by RAND but may not have been formally edited or peer reviewed.
Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.