Eastern Economic Journal

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 364–374

Do Spa Visits Improve Health: Evidence From German Micro Data

  • Jonathan Klick
  • Thomas Stratmann

DOI: 10.1057/palgrave.eej.9050038

Cite this article as:
Klick, J. & Stratmann, T. Eastern Econ J (2008) 34: 364. doi:10.1057/palgrave.eej.9050038


The health benefits of spas have been hypothesized for centuries. If this hypothesis is correct, spa therapy offers a low cost alternative to more expensive and potentially more invasive medical treatments for ailments such as back pain and arthritis. We use individual-level panel data to isolate the effect of spa therapy on missed workdays and hospital visits in Germany. Simple correlations suggest a self-selection bias — spa visits are associated with increased absenteeism and hospitalization. However, when we exploit the longitudinal nature of the data, we find that spa therapy leads to a statistically significant reduction in both absenteeism and hospitalization, though it is not clear if these health benefits justify the cost of spa therapy.


health economics German healthcare productivity of health treatment spa therapy Kur 

JEL Classifications

I11 I12 I18 

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Klick
    • 1
  • Thomas Stratmann
    • 2
  1. 1.College of LawTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

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