Medical Care Expenditure Indexes for the US, 1980-2006 (PDF)

We construct historical medical care expenditure indexes (MCEs) for the US economy for the period 1980-2006, thus supplementing the MCEs provided in the BEA health account for the period 2001-2010 (Dunn et al, 2015). Comparing our MCEs to the official deflators used in the national accounts, our results depend on the specific time period. We find that the MCEs show slower price growth than the official BEA deflator from 1987-1996, consistent with the fact indexes that improve on the official statistics typically find slower price growth than the official indexes. However, for the 1996-2006 time period, the result is reversed: our MCE price indexes grow faster than the official price deflator over this period.

Ana M. Aizcorbe and Tina Highfill