Pay less, consume more? The price elasticity of home care for the disabled elderly in France

Little is known about the price sensitivity of demand for home care of the disabled elderly. We partially fill this knowledge gap by using administrative data on the beneficiaries of the main French home care subsidy program in a department and exploiting interindividual variation in provider prices. We address the potential endogeneity of prices by taking advantage of the unequal spatial coverage of providers and instrumenting price by the number of municipalities served by a provider. We estimate a price elasticity of around −0.4 that is significantly different from both 0 and −1. This less than proportionate response of consumption to price has implications for the efficiency and redistributive impact of variation in the level of copayments in home care subsidy schemes.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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