nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2005‒04‒24
five papers chosen by
Yong Yin
SUNY at Buffalo, USA

  1. Are There Differences in the Health-Socioeconomic Status Relationship over the Life Cycle? Evidence from Germany By Keith A. Bender; Steffen Habermalz
  2. "It Wasn’t Me, It Was Them!" Social Influence in Risky Behavior by Adolescents By Andrew E. Clark; Youenn Lohéac
  3. Employment-Contingent Health Insurance, Illness and Labor Supply of Women: Evidence from Married Women with Breast Cancer By Cathy J. Bradley; David Neumark; Zhehui Luo; Heather L. Bednarek
  4. Betting on Death and Capital Markets in Retirement: A Shortfall Risk Analysis of Life Annuities By Ivica Dus; Raimond Maurer; Olivia S. Mitchell
  5. Self-reported Work Disability in the US and The Netherlands By Arie Kapteyn; James P. Smith; Arthur van Soest

  1. By: Keith A. Bender (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee); Steffen Habermalz (University of Nebraska at Kearney and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: Most research on the relationship between health and socioeconomic status (SES) controls for changing age or investigates the relationship for a particular age range. This paper, however, examines changes in the relationship across ages, as well as controls for potential endogeneity in the health-SES relationship. Using data from German Socio Economic Panel, we find that the health-SES relationship does vary across the life cycle and that endogeneity is an important influence on the relationship. We also find tentative evidence that universal access to health care reduces the impact of income on self-reported health satisfaction.
    Keywords: health, socioeconomic status, endogeneity, life cycle, Germany
    JEL: I0 I12 J0 J60 C13
    Date: 2005–04
  2. By: Andrew E. Clark (PSE (joint research unit CNRS-EHESS-ENPC-ENS), CNRS and IZA Bonn); Youenn Lohéac (FLAVIC (INRA-Dijon and ENESAD) and TEAM (University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne and CNRS))
    Abstract: Many years of concerted policy effort in Western countries has not prevented young people from experimenting with cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana. One potential explanation is that social interactions make consumption "sticky". We use detailed panel data from the Add Health survey to examine risky behavior (the consumption of tobacco, alcohol and marijuana) by American adolescents. We find that, even controlling for school fixed effects, these behaviors are correlated with lagged peer group behavior. Peer group effects are strongest for alcohol use, and young males are more influential than young females. Last, we present some evidence of non-linearities in social interactions.
    Keywords: social interactions, smoking, drinking
    JEL: C23 D12 Z13
    Date: 2005–04
  3. By: Cathy J. Bradley (Virginia Commonwealth University); David Neumark (Public Policy Institute of California and IZA Bonn); Zhehui Luo (Michigan State University); Heather L. Bednarek (St. Louis University)
    Abstract: We examine the effects of employment-contingent health insurance on married women’s labor supply following a health shock. First, we develop a theoretical model that examines the effects of employment-contingent health insurance on the labor supply response to a health shock, to clarify under what conditions employment-contingent health insurance is likely to dampen the labor supply response. Second, we empirically evaluate this relationship using primary data. The results from our analysis find that – as the model suggests is likely – health shocks decrease labor supply to a greater extent among women insured by their spouse’s policy than among women with health insurance through their own employer. Employmentcontingent health insurance appears to create incentives to remain working and to work at a greater intensity when faced with a serious illness.
    Keywords: health insurance, health shock, cancer, labor supply
    JEL: I12 J22
    Date: 2005–04
  4. By: Ivica Dus; Raimond Maurer; Olivia S. Mitchell
    Abstract: Retirees must draw down their accumulated assets in an orderly fashion, so as not to exhaust their funds too soon. We compare alternative phased withdrawal strategies to a life annuity benchmark using German data; one particular phased withdrawal rule seems attractive, as it offers relatively low expected shortfall risk, good expected payouts for the retiree during his life, and some bequest potential; results are similar for the US case. Delayed annuitization may also appeal, as it offers higher expected benefits with lower expected shortfalls. Requiring unisex mortality tables in annuity pric-ing raises women's risks under a phased withdrawal program.
    JEL: G22 G23 J26 J32
    Date: 2005–04
  5. By: Arie Kapteyn (RAND Corporation); James P. Smith (RAND Corporation); Arthur van Soest (RAND Corporation & Tilburg University)
    Abstract: Self-reported work disability is analyzed in the US and The Netherlands. The raw data show that Dutch respondents much more often report that they have a work limiting health problem than respondents in the US. The difference remains when controlling for demographic characteristics and observed onsets of health problems. Respondent evaluations of work limitations of hypothetical persons described in vignettes are used to identify the extent to which the differences in self-reports between countries or socio-economic groups are due to systematic variation in the response scales. A model that assumes the same response scales for different health domains is compared with a model that allows for domain specific response scales. Results of both models suggest that about half of the difference between the self-reported rates of work disability in the US and The Netherlands can be explained by response scale differences.
    Keywords: Work limiting disability, Vignettes, Reporting bias
    JEL: J
    Date: 2005–04–15

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