Health Care Cost Disease as a Threat to Iranian Aging Society

Mehdi Basakha, Kazem Yavari, Hosein Sadeghi, Alireza Naseri


Background: Because of the rapid aging rate, the share of health expenditure in gross domestic product rises irreversibly and increases concern among politicians and the general public. The aim of this study was to examine the accuracy of the Baumol’s model of unbalanced growth in Iran over the period 1981-2010.

Methods: This theoretical-analytical study was conducted in 2012 to investigate the various determinants of ongoing rise in the health expenditures. To this end, an Error Correction Model was derived from the long run cointegrating equation to inquire the veracity of Baumol’s theory.

Results: Estimating the short run and long run equations by using time series data shows that the rate of increase in health expenditure is aligned with the difference between wage increases in and growth of productivity in the health sector. Besides, results show that both the per capita income and the inflation rate of health care had significant effects on raising the share of health sector in domestic economy.

Conclusions: According to rapid population aging and existence of Baumol’s cost disease in Iranian health sector, we predict much more rise in health expenditure in a few decades.


Health Expenditure; Baumol’s Variable; Unbalanced Growth; Cointegration

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