Equity and efficiency in longterm care policies: Empirical evidence from France and the Netherlands

In OECD countries, population ageing and the increasing prevalence of some chronic diseases cause a substantial increase in the number of the disabled elderly. Responding to both the societal concern for ensuring appropriate longterm care (LTC) to the disabled and the pressure on public spending is a major challenge for public policies.
How do public LTC schemes affect the use of formal and informal care by the disabled? Are there socio-economic disparities in the use of formal care? Is the allocation of LTC services and of the out-of-pocket payments incurred by the disabled elderly equitable? Which features of LTC policies could be changed to make them more efficient and more equitable?
My research sheds light on these questions, using conceptual tools from microeconomics and methods in applied economics. It brings together four empirical investigations led in the contexts of France and the Netherlands, which have contrasting LTC systems. I make use of recent administrative and survey microdata.

The first three Chapters focus on French policies. Chapter 1 studies the distinction that is made between the handicapped adults and the dependent elderly in access to public LTC support. It assesses the effect of the “age 60 threshold” on the formal and informal care received by individuals with a disability. Chapters 2 and 3 concentrate on the main scheme accessible to the disabled elderly, the Allocation personnalisée d’autonomie (APA). Chapter 2 estimates the income and price elasticities of formal home care demand by APA beneficiaries. Chapter 3 assesses equity in the use and financing of home care within the APA scheme. Chapter 4 lands in the Netherlands and assesses income-related horizontal equity in LTC use.

Home care subsidies trigger adjustments in the use of care through both substitution and income effects. This has implications for the efficiency of such policies. Some inequity is detected in both countries.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is een denktank en kennisnetwerk, gewijd aan het bevorderen van een beter begrip van de economische en sociale gevolgen van pensioenen, vergrijzing en ‘de oude dag’ in Nederland en Europa.

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