Do Spa Visits Improve Health: Evidence From German Micro Data

Authors: Klick J (1) , Stratmann T (2)
(1) Florida State University College of Law (2) Department of Economics, George Mason University
Source: Eastern Economic Journal (2008) 34, 364–374
DOI: 10.1057/palgrave.eej.9050038 Publication date: 2008 E-Publication date: Not specified Availability: abstract Copyright: © 2008, Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
Language: English Countries: Not specified Location: Not specified Correspondence address: Klick J :


Article abstract

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.

Find it online