dinsdag 19 oktober 2010

Projecting future health care expenditure at European level

Predicting the future evolution of health care expenditure is one of crucial challenges facing the European Union and its Member States in the context of the demographic and social changes taking currently place in Europe. To correctly assess the risk of rising health care spending over the next couple of decades and establish adequate policy responses to the challenges, it is essential to devise a reliable method to estimate future health care expenditure. However, the complexity of the systems and multiplicity of factors affecting both total and public spending make this a highly complicated task, where results will always be surrounded by considerable uncertainties.

To tackle this issue a major project was undertaken by the European Commission and Economic Policy Committee which aimed at projecting future public health care expenditure in twenty seven Member States of the European Union and Norway over the period 2007- 2060. A unique internationally comparable database has been established and a model built allowing to project health care spending in a common, coherent framework of macroeconomic variables and a set of projections covering a number of other age-related items of public social expenditure. The model incorporates the most recent developments in demography and epidemiology and draws on new insights from health economics, allowing the comparison of the risks and challenges facing both individual countries' health care systems and European society in its entirety.

This paper from the European Commission provides a comprehensive overview of the theoretical background, practical aspects of projecting health care expenditure and the actual results of the projections undertaken in the context of long-term budgetary projections.

Working and ageing: emerging theories and empirical perspectives

Reviewing current research literature and presenting new empirical findings, the contributions in this book reflect the ways in which retirement and an ageing workforce are at the intersection of key social changes over recent decades. It addresses the question of what factors enable, or hamper, people to continue working at advanced age; it aims to provide sound and accessible evidence and suggest innovative ways of thinking to support active ageing policies.
Read this report from the CEDEFOP here.

A “one dollar, one vote” explanation of the welfare state

Why do Europe and the US, both affluent regions, differ so much in the size of their welfare state? To answer this question, this column examines OECD countries between 1975 and 2001, finding that countries with wealthier rich- and middle-classes are associated with a smaller welfare state while those with a richer poor class are associated with a larger one – supporting the “one dollar, one vote” explanation. Read the complete article on EUVOX here.

Spoorstaking kost 100 miljoen

De stakingsactie van de socialistische vakbond ACOD heeft het treinverkeer gisteren bijna helemaal doen stilvallen. De economische kostprijs is groot. Lees het volledige artikel in De Standaard hier.

From Obama, the Tax Cut Nobody Heard Of

What if a president cut Americans’ income taxes by $116 billion and nobody noticed? Read the complete article in The New York Times here.

Self-employment in Europe 2010

Self-employment makes a considerable contribution to the EU economy in terms of entrepreneurship and job creation and accounted for almost 15% of total employment in the Union in 2009. However, it also carries a degree of risk and EU-level policies have been developed over a number of years to support self-employment and small and medium-sized enterprises. Such measures have been stepped up in the light of the economic crisis and its impact, both at EU- and Member State-level.
Read this EC report here.

Armoede in de uitgebreide EU. Een discussie over definities en referentiegroepen

In deze paper gaan Tim Goedemé en Stijn Rottiers dieper in op de discussie die is ontstaan over de meting van armoede in de Europese Unie. Traditioneel wordt armoede gemeten met behulp van de at-risk-of-poverty indicator. Deze indicator legt de armoedegrens vast op basis van het mediaan inkomen in elke lidstaat. Sinds de toetreding van de Oost-Europese lidstaten sinds 2004 betekent dit dan ook dat wie volgens deze indicator arm is in de Westerse landen meestal in betere materiële levensomstandigheden leeft dan wie arm is in de Oost-Europese lidstaten. Als gevolg daarvan, hebben verschillende auteurs gepleit voor alternatieve, aanvullende armoede-indicatoren.

Lees dit CSB rapport hier.

La zone euro est menacée d’un retour de la récession en 2011

En 2011, les pays de la zone euro vont passer collectivement de la relance à la rigueur budgétaire, alors que la reprise économique est loin d'être assurée et que l'environnement international se dégrade. Les économistes font leurs calculs. Les plans d'austérité retireront près de 1 point de croissance à la zone l'an prochain. Si, en plus, l'euro se maintenait autour de 1,40 dollar, sa surévaluation coûterait près d'un demi-point de plus à la croissance.
Lisez l'article dans Le Monde ici.

Income Inequality: Too Big to Ignore

PEOPLE often remember the past with exaggerated fondness. Sometimes, however, important aspects of life really were better in the old days.
Read this article in the New York Times here.