nep-ias New Economics Papers
on Insurance Economics
Issue of 2009‒08‒16
six papers chosen by
Soumitra K Mallick
Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Bussiness Management

  1. Back to Basics: Restoring Equity and Efficiency in the EI Program - EI Reform Part II By Colin Busby; Alexandre Laurin; David Gray
  2. Beyond Testing: Empirical Models of Insurance Markets By Liran Einav; Amy Finkelstein; Jonathan Levin
  3. Equity in Private Health Insurance Coverage in South Africa: 2002-2007 By Steven F. Koch
  4. Health (including Clinical Studies) By Bertram Häussler; Elke Hempel
  5. Work Disability, Work, and Justification Bias in Europe and the U.S. By Arie Kapteyn; James P. Smith; Arthur van Soest
  6. Consumption and Labor Supply with Partial Insurance: An Analytical Framework By Jonathan Heathcote; Kjetil Storesletten; Giovanni L. Violante

  1. By: Colin Busby (C.D. Howe Institute); Alexandre Laurin (C.D. Howe Institute); David Gray (University of Ottawa)
    Abstract: Regionally based entry requirements and benefit durations prolong the persistence of unemployment and reduce economic incentives to adjust to labour-market conditions. Reforms aimed at equity are overdue. Regionally based criteria should be replaced by uniform, countrywide, employment insurance entrance requirements and benefit durations.
    Keywords: employment insurance reform
    JEL: E24 J65 J68
    Date: 2009–08
  2. By: Liran Einav; Amy Finkelstein; Jonathan Levin
    Abstract: We describe recent advances in the empirical analysis of insurance markets. This new research proposes ways to estimate individual demand for insurance and the relationship between prices and insurer costs in the presence of adverse and advantageous selection. We discuss how these models permit the measurement of welfare distortions arising from asymmetric information and the welfare consequences of potential government policy responses. We also discuss some challenges in modeling imperfect competition between insurers, and outline a series of open research questions.
    JEL: C51 D82
    Date: 2009–08
  3. By: Steven F. Koch (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)
    Abstract: South Africa, which allowed complete suffrage in 1994, for the first time, has committed itself to improved health outcomes through equitable economic and social development. However, South Africa fares poorly in the World Health Organization’s ranking of health system performance, while spending a large proportion of its Gross Domestic Product on health care, suggesting that inequities in health opportunities and outcomes remain. This paper reports on medical aid scheme coverage rates estimated from a series of nationally representative surveys undertaken in South Africa by Statistics South Africa between 2002 and 2007. The individual’s age group, population group and gender were all used to assess coverage to examine inequalities in health care opportunities. The estimates show that coverage rates are quite low, and differ by age group, population group and gender. Despite government efforts to improve health outcomes for the previously disadvantaged population groups, medical aid access for the most disadvantaged, under apartheid, have not improved over the analyzed time period. The study provides important information related to equitable health care financing, noting that a universal national health insurance plan would need to cover an extremely large proportion of the population, as well as the failure, heretofore, of equalizing access to medical aid schemes across population groups in South Africa.
    Keywords: Medical Schemes, General Household Survey
    Date: 2009–08
  4. By: Bertram Häussler; Elke Hempel
    Abstract: Politics, science, research and the public base their discussions on comprehensive, valid and systematic health care data. Data based information is needed in order to measure the results or success of a policy of procedure. In Germany, the Information System of the Federal Health Monitoring (IS-GBE) comprises of a comprehensive health system data collection. Currently, the information system contains health data and information from over a 100 different sources, for instance surveys done by the statistical offices of the federation or the Länder, as well as many other surveys done within the health care system. Apart from the IS-GBE additional official and non-official health care data sources exist in Germany. Within this expertise changes made from 2001 on to existing health data sources as well as newly established data sources are presented. Data sources dealt with in other expertise are not considered. The up until now one time insuree sample collected in 2001 was, for example, collected in the course of the reform of the risk structure adjustment within the statutory health insurance is one of the more recent samples. From our point of view we highly recommend an update of this representative sample.
    Keywords: Information System of the Federal Health Monitoring (IS-FHM), Microcensus, Inpatient Diagnosis Data, Hospital statistics by Diagnosis Related Groups (DRG Statistics), Cancer Registries, Kidney Replacement Therapy Statistics (QuaSi Niere), External Comparative Quality Assurance of the In-patient Sector (BQS), Structured Reports on Quality (SQB), Compulsory Health Insurance (CHI) Claims Data: Insuree Sample, GEK Claims Data
    Date: 2009
  5. By: Arie Kapteyn; James P. Smith; Arthur van Soest
    Abstract: To analyze the effect of health on work, many studies use a simple self-assessed health measure based upon a question such as “do you have an impairment or health problem limiting the kind or amount of work you can do?†A possible drawback of such a measure is the possibility that different groups of respondents may use different response scales. This is commonly referred to as “differential item functioning†(DIF). A specific form of DIF is justification bias: to justify the fact that they don’t work, non-working respondents may classify a given health problem as a more serious work limitation than working respondents. In this paper we use anchoring vignettes to identify justification bias and other forms of DIF across countries and socio-economic groups among older workers in the U.S. and Europe. Generally, we find differences in response scales across countries, partly related to social insurance generosity and employment protection. Furthermore, we find significant evidence of justification bias in the U.S. but not in Europe, suggesting differences in social norms concerning work.
    JEL: C81 I12 J28
    Date: 2009–08
  6. By: Jonathan Heathcote; Kjetil Storesletten; Giovanni L. Violante
    Abstract: This paper studies consumption and labor supply in a model where agents have partial insurance and face risk and initial heterogeneity in wages and preferences. Equilibrium allocations and variances and covariances of wages, hours and consumption are solved for analytically. We prove that all parameters of the structural model are identified given panel data on wages and hours, and cross-sectional data on consumption. The model is estimated on US data. Second moments involving hours and consumption show that the rise in wage dispersion in the 1970s was effectively insured by households, while the rise in the 1980s was not.
    JEL: E21 J22 J31
    Date: 2009–08

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