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The ability to pay for long-term care in the Netherlands: a life-cycle perspective

CPB Discussion Paper 321, 20 January 2016

This paper uses synthetic life-cycle paths at the individual level to analyze the distribution of long-term care expenditures in the Netherlands. Using a comprehensive set of administrative data 20,000 synthetic life-cycle paths of household income and long-term care costs are constructed using the nearest neighbor resampling method.

We show that the distribution of these costs is less skewed when measured over the life-cycle than on a cross-sectional basis. This may provide an argument for self-insurance by smoothing these costs over the life-cycle. Yet costs are concentrated at older ages, which limits the scope for self-insurance. Furthermore, the paper investigates the relation between long-term care expenditures, household composition, and income over the life-cycle. The expenditures on a lifetime basis from the age of 65 are higher for low income households, and (single) women.

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