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Concept: Government spending


Is existing provision of health services in Europe affordable during the recession or could cuts damage economic growth? This debate centres on whether government spending has positive or negative effects on economic growth. In this study, we evaluate the economic effects of alternative types of government spending by estimating “fiscal multipliers” (the return on investment for each $1 dollar of government spending).

Concepts: Medicine, Late-2000s recession, Rate of return, Government spending, Economics, Gross domestic product, Macroeconomics, Investment


Health care in the United States is at a crossroads. With health care costs representing an unsustainable 17.6% of our gross domestic product, creation of a new, higher-value health care system has never been a greater priority. Although the rate of increase in health care spending has moderated during the economic recession, some experts predict that it will rebound as the economy recovers. Thus, the need for higher value in health care is urgent. The goal of high-value health care is to produce the best health outcomes at the lowest cost, and this goal has recently created a new alliance. . . .

Concepts: United States, Gross domestic product, Late-2000s recession, Sustainability, Economics, Government spending, Health care, Unemployment


In 2011 US health care spending grew 3.9 percent to reach $2.7 trillion, marking the third consecutive year of relatively slow growth. Growth in national health spending closely tracked growth in nominal gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010 and 2011, and health spending as a share of GDP remained stable from 2009 through 2011, at 17.9 percent. Even as growth in spending at the national level has remained stable, personal health care spending growth accelerated in 2011 (from 3.7 percent to 4.1 percent), in part because of faster growth in spending for prescription drugs and physician and clinical services. There were also divergent trends in spending growth in 2011 depending on the payment source: Medicaid spending growth slowed, while growth in Medicare, private health insurance, and out-of-pocket spending accelerated. Overall, there was relatively slow growth in incomes, jobs, and GDP in 2011, which raises questions about whether US health care spending will rebound over the next few years as it typically has after past economic downturns.

Concepts: Health care in the United States, Medicine, Government spending, Medicare, Health economics, Gross domestic product, Health insurance, Health care


We estimated taxpayers' current and projected share of US health expenditures, including government payments for public employees' health benefits as well as tax subsidies to private health spending.

Concepts: Health insurance, Government spending, Tax, Public finance


Central to research funding are grant proposals that researchers send in to potential funders for review, in the hope of approval. A survey of policies at major research funders found that there is room for more transparency in the process of grant review, which would strengthen the case for the efficiency of public spending on research. On that basis, debate was invited on which transparency measures should be implemented and how, with some concrete suggestions at hand. The present article adds to this discussion by providing further context from the literature, along with considerations on the effect size of the proposed measures. The article then explores the option of opening to the public key components of the process, makes the case for pilot projects in this area, and sketches out the potential that such measures might have to transform the research landscape in those areas in which they are implemented.

Concepts: Academic publishing, Proposal, Government spending, Present, Effect size, Scientific method, Research


To project the number of people aged 45-64 years with lost productive life years (PLYs) due to diabetes and related costs (lost income, extra welfare payments, lost taxation revenue); and lost gross domestic product (GDP) attributable to diabetes in Australia from 2015 to 2030.

Concepts: Economic growth, Government spending, Gini coefficient, Income


Objectives. We assessed the impact of sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) taxes on net employment. Methods. We used a macroeconomic simulation model to assess the employment impact of a 20% SSB tax accounting for changes in SSB demand, substitution to non-SSBs, income effects, and government expenditures of tax revenues for Illinois and California in 2012. Results. We found increased employment of 4406 jobs in Illinois and 6654 jobs in California, representing a respective 0.06% and 0.03% change in employment. Declines in employment within the beverage industry occurred but were offset by new employment in nonbeverage industry and government sectors. Conclusions. SSB taxes do not have a negative impact on state-level employment, and industry claims of regional job losses are overstated and may mislead lawmakers and constituents. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print February 13, 2014: e1-e6. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301630).

Concepts: Income, Change, Assessment, Income tax, Capitalism, Government spending, Public finance, Tax


It is unclear how the public would respond to changes in government decisions about how much to spend on medical research in total and specifically on major disease areas such as cancer. Our aim was to elicit the views of the general public in the United Kingdom about how a change in government spending on cancer research might affect their willingness to donate, or to hypothecate a portion of their income tax payments, to cancer research charities.

Concepts: Disease, Constitutional monarchy, Consumer theory, Government spending, Income tax, Cancer, Tax, United Kingdom


Many OECD countries have replied to economic recessions with an adaption in public spending on social benefits for families and young people in need. So far, no study has examined the impact of public social spending during the recent economic recession on health, and social inequalities in health among young people. This study investigates whether an increase in public spending relates to a lower prevalence in health complaints and buffers health inequalities among adolescents.

Concepts: Recessions, Macroeconomics, Government spending, Recession, Unemployment


Feminist scholars suggest that improving the quality of life of individuals living in nations around the world may be more readily achieved by increasing women’s political power and by reorienting public-policy priorities, than by focusing primarily on economic growth. These considerations raise the question of which characteristics of societies are associated with the quality of life of the people in those societies. Here, we address this issue empirically by statistically analyzing cross-national data. We assess the effects of gender equality in the political sphere, as well as a variety of other factors, on the subjective well-being of nations, as indicated by average self-reported levels of life satisfaction. We find that people report the highest levels of life satisfaction in nations where women have greater political representation, where military spending is low, and where health care spending is high, controlling for a variety of other factors. GDP per capita, urbanization, and natural resource exploitation are not clearly associated with life satisfaction. These findings suggest that nations may be able to improve the subjective quality of life of people without increasing material wealth or natural resource consumption by increasing gender equality in politics and changing public spending priorities.

Concepts: Gender, Health care, Economic growth, Capital accumulation, Economics, Quality of life, Government spending, Gross domestic product