25 October 2019 - 26 October 2019
Lisbon, Portugal

The socio-economics of ageing

IIASA researcher Sonja Spitzer will discuss health misperception and healthcare utilisation of older Europeans at the 6th International Workshop on the Socio-Economics of Ageing.

Street of Meknes, Morocco © Hoang Bao Nguyen | Dreamstime.com

Street of Meknes, Morocco © Hoang Bao Nguyen | Dreamstime.com

The 6th International Workshop on the Socio-Economics of Ageing provides a forum for the presentation and discussion of topics related to population ageing, one of the most important social transformations of our times.
Research on ageing transcends disciplinary boundaries and this is reflected in the multiple dimensions covered in the workshop which is organized by the Lisboa School of Economics and Management (ISEG), University of Lisbon.  

World Population Program researcher Sonja Spitzer will give a presentation entitled "Health misperception and healthcare utilisation of older Europeans." Spitzer is a predoctoral researcher at the World Population Program at IIASA. She is a population economist working on health, ageing, and economic wellbeing over the life course. She tackles questions related to healthy ageing as well as the economic impact of life events on households, examples are retirement or the birth of a child. She is particularly interested in issues related to survey data, for example, weighting adjustments or the evaluation of self-reported measures with objective information. For her research, she applies econometric as well as demographic methods. 

For detailed information please visit the event website.

Presentation abstract

Title: Health misperception and healthcare utilisation of older Europeans 

Co-author: Mujaheed Shaikh 

Abstract: Understanding the drivers of healthcare utilisation in Europe is of utmost importance in the context of rapid population ageing and increasing public health expenditure. This paper explores individual health perception biases as a potential determinant of doctor visits and concomitant out-of-pocket expenditure. Based on longitudinal data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, we observe how biased beliefs about health status affect healthcare utilisation of the population 50+ in 15 European countries. Using biomeasures and their self-reported equivalents, we find that individuals who underestimate their health visit the doctor more often than individuals who correctly assess their health. The higher healthcare utilisation is accompanied by larger out-of-pocket payments. By contrast, individuals that overestimate their health visit the doctor less often and have lower out-of-pocket payments. The effects are larger for men, which is particularly relevant given the well documented gender differences in healthcare seeking behaviour.


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Last edited: 16 September 2019

CONTACT DETAILS

Sonja Spitzer

Research Assistant

World Population

T +43(0) 2236 807 568

Research at the World Population Program

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International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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