nep-ias New Economics Papers
on Insurance Economics
Issue of 2010‒04‒04
nine papers chosen by
Soumitra K Mallick
Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Bussiness Management

  1. Insured by the partner? By Olsson, Martin; Skogman Thoursie, Peter
  2. Health-Insurance Coverage Rates for US Workers, 1979-2008 By Hye Jin Rho; John Schmitt
  3. Moral Hazard in a Mutual Health-Insurance System: German Knappschaften, 1867–1914 By Timothy W. Guinnane; Jochen Streb
  4. Uncertainty and Information: An Expository Essay By Singh, Nirvikar
  5. The social long-term care insurance in Germany: origin, situation, threats, and perspectives By Heinicke, Katrin; Thomsen, Stephan L.
  6. Public Pension and Insurance: Public Pension System scheduled as an Insurance By Masatoshi Yamada
  7. Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme in the Context of the Health MDGs – An Empirical Evaluation Using Propensity Score Matching By Joseph Mensah; Joseph R. Oppong; Christoph M. Schmidt
  8. Momentum or Contrarian Investment Strategies:Evidence from Dutch institutional investors By Leo de Haan; Jan Kakes
  9. Unions and Upward Mobility for Immigrant Workers By John Schmitt

  1. By: Olsson, Martin (Stockholm University, Department of Economics); Skogman Thoursie, Peter (IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation)
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether the partner’s social insurance coverage affects spousal labor supply. Using a reform which increased the sickness insurance coverage for non-government workers, the spousal elasticity of sick days with respect to the partner’s benefit is estimated to 0.4. Additional analysis indicates that the partner’s insurance coverage is partly affecting spousal labor supply through an insurance effect and the overall effect is particularly large among low income families. Joint leisure is not found to have an effect on the overall effect. We conclude that spouses pool their supply of la-bor. Thus if policy evaluations ignore spousal interactions they will underestimate the effect.
    Keywords: Spousal labor supply; spill-over; social insurance programs
    JEL: H31 J22
    Date: 2010–03–05
  2. By: Hye Jin Rho; John Schmitt
    Abstract: This study estimates rates of all forms of health insurance coverage for workers aged 18 to 64, by wage quintiles, over the past three decades. This analysis looks at health insurance from any source, while other reports (with rare exceptions) look at only employer-provided health coverage. This report provides trends from 1979 to 2008, while even the Census Bureau typically presents data starting from only either 1987 or 1999 (due to methodology changes made in those two years). The Census Bureau also does not publish data for workers, as this report does.
    Keywords: workers, health insurance, health care coverage
    JEL: J J3 J32 I I1 I18
    Date: 2010–03
  3. By: Timothy W. Guinnane; Jochen Streb
    Abstract: The Knappschaft underlies Bismarck’s sickness and accident insurance legislation (1883 and 1884), which in turn forms the basis of the German social-insurance system today and, indirectly, many social-insurance systems around the world. The Knappschaften were formed in the medieval period to provide sickness, accident, and death benefi ts for miners. By the mid-nineteenth century, participation in the Knappschaft was compulsory for workers in mines and related occupations, and the range and generosity of benefi ts had expanded considerably. Each Knappschaft was locally controlled and self-funded, and their admirers saw in them the ability to use local knowledge and good incentives to deliver benefi ts at low cost. This paper focuses on a problem central to any insurance system, and one that plagued the Knappschaften as they grew larger in the later nineteenth century: the problem of moral hazard. Replacement pay for sick miners made it attractive, on the margin, for miners to invent or exaggerate conditions that made it impossible for them to work. Here we outline the moral hazard problem the Knappschaften faced as well as the internal mechanisms they devised to control it. We then use econometric models to demonstrate that those mechanisms were at best imperfect.
    Keywords: Sickness insurance; moral hazard; malingering; Knappschaft; social insurance
    JEL: N33 N43 H55 H53 I18
    Date: 2010–01
  4. By: Singh, Nirvikar
    Abstract: This essay provides an elementary, unified introduction to resource allocation under uncertainty in competitive markets. The coverage includes decision-making under uncertainty, measuring risk and risk aversion, insurance and asset markets, and asymmetric information.
    Keywords: Uncertainty; risk; risk aversion; insurance; asset markets; asymmetric information
    JEL: D01 D80
    Date: 2010–03–22
  5. By: Heinicke, Katrin; Thomsen, Stephan L.
    Abstract: This paper describes the Social Long-Term Care Insurance (SLTCI) in Germany. Based on a short review of the history of long-term care organization and the preceding laws in Germany, the implementation of the SLTCI as a self-standing pillar within the system of social insurances in Germany and its set-up with regard to eligibility criteria, service provision and financial budget are presented. Since SLTCI is a universal, contribution-financed insurance the ageing society and the corresponding shifts in the number of persons in need of care and the number of persons potentially providing informal care are challenges for its sustainability. Therefore, recently suggested reform options are discussed at the end of the paper showing potential pathways to a sufficient provision of care services in the future. --
    Keywords: Social Long-term Care Insurance,Germany,Financial Situation,Sustainability,Reform Options
    Date: 2010
  6. By: Masatoshi Yamada (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: All the social insurance systems in Japan have faced number of difficulties in recent years mainly because, on the one hand both aging and number of children declining had accelerated and on the other hand Japan experienced stagnated economy after 1990. Among them the public pension system experienced the worst because a variety of problems such as incompleteness or losses of pension-subscriber records, lowering of reference salaries in the pension for the hired, usurpation of pension premiums had reported via mass-communications and the pension system decreased its reliability. This paper reexamines the problems concerning the public pension by considering what the pension system as an insurance sheds light to those problems. Though it is true that the pension is called often gpension insuranceh, its understanding as an insurance is very rare both in its design or construction and in its management in reality, and such an examination as above contributes the purpose. The paper examines first the working and features of the pension as an insurance. They are then utiilized to reconsider the problems concerning the pension system as above and examine what are the solutions to those problems and what is the good form of the pension system.
    Keywords: Public pension, pension insurance, designing and management
    JEL: H55
    Date: 2010–03
  7. By: Joseph Mensah; Joseph R. Oppong; Christoph M. Schmidt
    Abstract: In 2003 the Government of Ghana established a National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to improve health care access for Ghanaians and eventually replace the cashand- carry system. This study evaluates the NHIS to determine whether it is fulfi lling its purpose in the context of the Millennium Development Goals #4 and #5 which deal with the health of women and children. We use Propensity Score Matching techniques to balance the relevant background characteristics in our survey data and compare health outcomes of recent mothers who are enrolled in the NHIS with those who are not. Our fi ndings suggest that NHIS women are more likely to receive prenatal care, deliver at a hospital, have their deliveries attended by trained health professionals, and experience less birth complications. We conclude that NHIS is an eff ective tool for increasing health care access, and improving health outcomes.
    Keywords: Health insurance, prenatal care, Millennium Development Goals, Propensity Score Matching
    JEL: I18 O12 C21
    Date: 2009–12
  8. By: Leo de Haan; Jan Kakes
    Abstract: This paper analyses investment strategies of three types of institutional investors – pension funds, life insurers and non-life insurers – over the period 1999-2005. We use balance sheet and cash flow data, including purchases and sales of equity, fixed income and real estate. We trace asset reallocations back to both active trading and revaluations and link investment decisions to firm-specific characteristics and macroeconomic variables. Overall, our results indicate that all three investor types tend to be contrarian traders, i.e. they buy past losers and sell past winners. Especially pension funds showed this behaviour in the most turbulent part of the sample – the crash of 2002 and early 2003 – implying that these institutions have a stabilising impact on financial markets when this is needed most. Life insurers tend to be contrarian traders when they have a high proportion of unit-linked policies, while non-life insurers are contrarian when they have a more risky business model.
    Keywords: Asset allocation; Investment strategy; Insurance companies; Pension funds
    Date: 2010–02
  9. By: John Schmitt
    Abstract: This report reviews the characteristics of the immigrant workforce and analyzes the impact of unionization on the pay and benefits of immigrant workers. According to the most recent available data, immigrant workers are now over 15 percent of the workforce and almost 13 percent of unionized workers. Even after controlling for systematic differences between union and non-union workers, union representation substantially improves the pay and benefits received by immigrants.
    Keywords: unions, wages, benefits, pension, health insurance, immigrants
    JEL: J J1 J3 J31 J32 J41 J5 J58 J6 J68 J88
    Date: 2010–03

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