nep-ias New Economics Papers
on Insurance Economics
Issue of 2010‒02‒05
seven papers chosen by
Soumitra K Mallick
Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Bussiness Management

  1. Medicare Part D and the Financial Protection of the Elderly By Gary V. Engelhardt; Jonathan Gruber
  2. Fixing the leak: unemployment incidence before and after the 2006 reform of unemployment benefits in Germany By Dlugosz, Stephan; Stephan, Gesine; Wilke, Ralf A.
  3. Two Chapters on early history of the Munich Reinsurance Company: The Foundation/ The San Francisco Earthquake By Spree, Reinhard
  4. Work Ability and the Social Insurance Safety Net in the Years Prior to Retirement By Richard W. Johnson; Melissa M. Favreault; Corina Mommaerts
  5. "Short-Time Compensation as a Policy to Stabilize Employment" By Wayne Vroman; Vera Brusentsev
  6. Reimbursement Roulette: The Baucus Bill’s Too Playful Approach to “Play-or-Pay” in Health Care Reform By Shawn Fremstad
  7. Interbank contagion at work: evidence from a natural experiment By Rajkamal Iyer; José-Luis Peydró

  1. By: Gary V. Engelhardt; Jonathan Gruber
    Abstract: We examine the impact of the expansion of public prescription prescription-drug insurance coverage from Medicare Part D has had on the elderly and find evidence of substantial crowd-out. Using detailed data from the 2002-6 waves of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), we estimate that the extension of Part D benefits resulted in 75% crowd-out of prescription drug insurance coverage and 33%-50% crowd-out of prescription drug expenditures of those 65 and older. Part D is associated with relatively small reductions in out-of-pocket spending. This suggests that the welfare gain from protecting the elderly from out-of-pocket spending risk through Part D has been small.
    Date: 2009–10
  2. By: Dlugosz, Stephan; Stephan, Gesine; Wilke, Ralf A.
    Abstract: From 2002-2004, the German government passed several laws that curtailed the generosity of the unemployment compensation system. One of the most ambitious changes was a considerable reduction in unemployment benefit entitlement lengths for older unemployed, which was effective during 2006 and 2007. We apply a difference-in-differences approach to show that the highly disputed reform induced a considerable decline in unemployment incidence among older workers. It thus sealed an important leak in the unemployment insurance system. Furthermore, we find a strong anticipation effect; unemployment entries of elderly workers peaked during the months preceding the reform. --
    Keywords: unemployment incidence,policy evaluation,administrative data
    JEL: J63 J65
    Date: 2009
  3. By: Spree, Reinhard
    Abstract: The Munich Re was founded in 1880 and is from the very start till this day one of the leading insurance companies in the world. Despite its long and successfull existance the company’s history has not been reported yet in a way that fulfilled scientific criteria. This paper can be seen as a first step in this direction. Following a biographical approach the focus will be set on the co-founder and first general director, Carl Thieme, who chaired the company for several decades. The first chapter will outline the foundation of the Munich Re while the second chapter will give an examination of the way the Munich Re dealt with the challenge of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.
    Keywords: insurance; reinsurance; institutions; globalization; global players; economic success; earthquake; San Francisco; Munich
    JEL: E22 E51 F23 F53 G22 N21 N23
    Date: 2010–01
  4. By: Richard W. Johnson; Melissa M. Favreault; Corina Mommaerts
    Abstract: A patchwork of public programs—primarily Social Security Disability Insurance (DI), workers’ compensation, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and veterans’ benefits—provides income supports to people unable to work. Yet, questions persist about the effectiveness of these programs. This report examines the economic consequences of disability for a sample of Americans observed from age 51 to 64. The results underscore the precarious financial state for most people approaching traditional retirement age with disabilities. Disability rates roughly double from age 55 to 64. Fewer than half who meet our disability criteria ever receive disability benefits in their fifties or early sixties. Benefit receipt rates are much higher among those with the most severe disabilities, suggesting that benefits are targeted to those least able to work. However, even when models control for disability severity, women are less likely than men to receive benefits. Those with cancer and heart problem diagnoses are more likely to receive DI, suggesting that DI favors workers with certain medical diagnoses. Poverty rates for people who collect disability benefits in their fifties and early sixties more than triple following benefit receipt.
    Date: 2009–11
  5. By: Wayne Vroman (The Urban Institute); Vera Brusentsev (Department of Economics,University of Delaware)
    Abstract: Short-time compensation (STC or work sharing) is a labor adjustment measure designed to reduce or eliminate reliance on layoffs when firms need to reduce hours worked. It spreads the reduction in hours among a wide pool of workers and provides partial unemployment compensation for the reduced hours. This paper examines STC with attention to experiences in Canada and Germany as well as the United States. It also suggests ways to increase STC use in the United States.
    Keywords: employment retention, short-time compensation, Work-sharing, Wage compensation, unemployment insurance, workplace relations, social sector reform.
    JEL: J33 J38 J39
    Date: 2009
  6. By: Shawn Fremstad
    Abstract: Two of the three leading health care reform proposals being considered by Congress—the House “Tri-Committee” health care reform legislation and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee’s reform legislation—include sensibly designed “play-or-pay” provisions that require employers to pay an assessment if they do not offer insurance to some or all of their employees. The third leading health care reform proposal—the bill proposed by Sen. Max Baucus and currently under consideration by the Senate Finance Committee—also includes a play-or-pay requirement, but it is poorly designed and would be unfair to employers, harmful to employees, and impose wasteful expenses on taxpayers.
    Keywords: health care
    JEL: I I1 I18 I3 I38 H H2 H5 D D6
    Date: 2009–09
  7. By: Rajkamal Iyer (University of Amsterdam, Department of Finance, Roetersstraat 11, 1018 WB, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.); José-Luis Peydró (European Central Bank, Kaiserstrasse 29, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.)
    Abstract: This paper tests financial contagion due to interbank linkages. For identification we exploit an idiosyncratic, sudden shock caused by a large-bank failure in conjunction with detailed data on interbank exposures. First, we find robust evidence that higher interbank exposure to the failed bank leads to large deposit withdrawals. Second, the magnitude of contagion is higher for banks with weaker fundamentals. Third, interbank linkages among surviving banks further propagate the shock. Finally, we find results suggesting that there are real economic effects. These results suggest that interbank linkages act as an important channel of contagion and hold important policy implications. JEL Classification: G21, G28, E58.
    Keywords: contagion; systemic risk; macro-prudential analysis; deposit insurance; interbank market; wholesale depositors; bank runs; banking crisis; liquidity dry-ups.
    Date: 2010–01

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