We are pleased to congratulate our former colleagues Mirko Licchetta and Michal Stelmach on being named this year’s winners of the prestigious Rybczynski prize for their essay ‘Health Spending: it’s not just about ageing’.

The Rybczynski Prize is awarded annually to the best piece of writing on economics, as judged by the Society of Business Economists Council.  The judges look for high-quality submissions on an important real world economic issue which merits wide attention among professional economists.

The essay reviews the latest evidence on the demographic and non-demographic determinants of health spending in the UK – summarising the findings in Working Paper No. 9: Fiscal sustainability and public spending on health, which Mirko and Michal co-authored in 2016. Both have since moved on to new positions outside the OBR. The paper finds that non-demographic costs pressures have been larger contributing factors in the past and are likely to remain important drivers in the future. These ‘other cost pressures’ include increasing relative health care costs and technological advancements. They were factored into our 2017 Fiscal sustainability report long-term spending projections.