nep-ias New Economics Papers
on Insurance Economics
Issue of 2012‒10‒06
eleven papers chosen by
Soumitra K Mallick
Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management

  1. Unemployment Insurance and Optimal Taxation in Search Models of the Labor Market By Athanasios Geromichalos
  2. Potential Effects of the Affordable Care Act on the Award of Life Care Expenses By Joshua Congdon-Hohman; Victor Matheson
  3. The impact of private health insurers on the quality of Russian regional health systems By Galina Besstremyannaya; Jaak Simm
  4. Testimony for Hearing on Securing the Future of the Social Security Disability Insurance Program. Washington, DC: U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Social Security By David C. Stapleton
  5. Unemployment Insurance and Optimal Taxation in Search Models of the Labor Market By Athanasios Geromichalos
  6. Reporting Person-Level Separate CHIP Data to MSIS: A Guide for States Programmer's Supplement. Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research By Cheryl A. Camillo; Matthew Hodges; Stephen Kuncaitis; Paul M. Montebello; Ashley Zlatinov
  7. The Newly Unemployed and the UIF Take-up Rate in the South African Labour Market By Haroon Bhorat; David Tseng
  8. Labor Cost and Payroll Tax Cuts: an Estimation at the Plant Level Between 1996 and 2008 By V. COTTET; S. QUANTIN; V. RÉGNIER
  9. The Role of Institutional Investors in Financing Clean Energy By Christopher Kaminker; Fiona Stewart
  10. Testimony for Hearing on Medicare Health Plans. Washington, DC: U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Ways and Means, Health Subcommittee By Marsha R. Gold

  1. By: Athanasios Geromichalos (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)
    Abstract: In many search models of the labor market, unemployment insurance (UI) is conveniently
    Keywords: Directed Search, Random Search, Unemployment Insurance, Optimal Taxation
    JEL: C78 E24 J65
    Date: 2012–09–24
  2. By: Joshua Congdon-Hohman (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross); Victor Matheson (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)
    Abstract: Plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits are entitled to compensation for future medical expenses. We argue that the “guaranteed issue” and “individual mandate” requirements of the recently passed Affordable Care Act (ACA) will allow victims to address their health needs through the purchase of a simple health insurance plan rather than direct compensation for an itemized list of health care needs. As such, damage awards for health expenditures should be capped at a maximum of $5,950 per year. Furthermore, the role of a life care planner should evolve into determining which life care expenses are covered under covered by the minimum insurance requirements mandated by the ACA and which entail additional expenditures beyond those covered by health insurance.
    Keywords: Health insurance, forensic economics, Affordable Care Act, tort reform
    JEL: I18 K41
    Date: 2012–09
  3. By: Galina Besstremyannaya (Center for Economic and Financial Research at New Economic School); Jaak Simm (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Graduate School of Information Science and Engineering)
    Abstract: The 1991 law ‘On health insurance for the citizens of the Russian Federation’ established that social health insurance is to be offered by multiple private insurance companies. The paper is the first econometric analysis measuring the effect of private health insurers on quality related outcomes of social health insurance (SHI) systems in Russian regions. The baseline model introduces regional SHI system as a binary variable with unity value corresponding to the presence of private health insurers as the only agents at the SHI market. The extended model captures endogeneity by employing an instrumental variable approach. The non-parametric model uses kernel regressions. The results of parametric and kernel regressions reveal that the presence of private insurers is a significant determinant of infant and under-five mortality. The positive impact of private insurers is explained by regional institutional reforms. The methods of provider reimbursement are related to infant and under-five mortality, which offers suggestive evidence for enabling insurer competition through selective contracting with health care providers.
    Keywords: social health insurance, infant mortality, under-five mortality, kernel regression, health care systems, health care quality, provider payment
    JEL: I10 I18 G22 R22
    Date: 2012–09
  4. By: David C. Stapleton
    Keywords: SSDI, Social Security, Disability Insurance, Testimony
    JEL: I J
    Date: 2012–09–14
  5. By: Athanasios Geromichalos (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)
    Abstract: In many search models of the labor market, unemployment insurance (UI) is conveniently interpreted as the value of leisure or home production and is, therefore, treated as a parameter. However, in reality, UI has to be funded through taxation that might be distortionary. In this paper, I analyze the welfare implications of different taxation systems within two equilibrium models of unemployment: random search and directed search. In a random search model without taxes, efficiency is typically not achieved, unless the so-called Hosios condition is satisfied. If the bargaining power of firms is large, a lump-sum tax can discourage firms from entering and improve welfare. In a directed search model without taxes, constrained efficiency is always achieved. Since firms “direct” workers to apply to them by posting wages, raising UI funds in a lump-sum manner always distorts the efficient allocation, as it gives firms an incentive to be excessively aggressive in their attempt to maximize the probability of filing up their vacancies. I discuss two ways through which this externality can be internalized and efficiency can be re-established.
    Keywords: Directed Search, Random Search, Unemployment Insurance, Optimal Taxation
    JEL: C78 E24 J65
    Date: 2012–09–24
  6. By: Cheryl A. Camillo; Matthew Hodges; Stephen Kuncaitis; Paul M. Montebello; Ashley Zlatinov
    Keywords: Children’s Health Insurance Program, CHIP, CHIP data, technical assistance; TA
    JEL: I
    Date: 2012–09–13
  7. By: Haroon Bhorat; David Tseng (Development Policy Research Unit; Director and Professor)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the take-up rate or claim-waiting rate of the unemployed under the South African Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) system. The goal is to identify disincentive effects that income replacement rates (IRR) and accumulated credits may have on the claimants behaviour in terms of their claim waiting period rate (or how quickly they apply for UIF benefits). Utilizing nonparametric and semi-parametric estimation techniques, we find that there is little evidence, if any, for job disincentives or moral hazard problems. More specifically, the majority of claimants that are quickest to claim the UIF benefits are those who have worked continuously for at least four years and accumulated the maximum allowable amount of credits. We also note that claimants‟ claim-waiting periods are indifferent with regard to levels of income replacements yet extremely sensitive to the amount of credits accumulated. Ultimately, the recipients of the UIF benefits do not depend heavily on the replacement incomes and prefer waiting longer for employment opportunities to arise as opposed to exhausting their accumulated credits. The semi-parametric Cox’s Proportional Hazard (PH) model confirms that there is a positive relationship between the claimants accumulation of credits and the associated take-up rate of the UIF. Acknowledgements: The research, from which this paper emanates, was commissioned by the Africa Growth Initiative (AGI), at the Brookings Institution.
    Keywords: Cox proportional hazards model, Claim-waiting period, Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), Income Replacement Rates (IRR), Semi-parametric models, unemployment benefits, Survival Analysis, claiming incentives, moral hazard.
    JEL: J01 J08 J18 J64 J65
    Date: 2012–07
  8. By: V. COTTET (Insee); S. QUANTIN (Insee); V. RÉGNIER (Insee)
    Abstract: This paper describes a methodology to estimate labor costs at the establishment level. This estimation is based on annual declarations of social data (DADS), which provide exhaustive data on gross wages paid by private and semi-public firms. The real cost of each job is estimated using the precise schemes of social contributions, including in particular the various measures of reductions of national social contribution. These data are used to describe the changes in the cost of labor and employment between 1996 and 2008, broken down by qualification. During this period, labor costs increased less for unskilled employees than for other qualifications, partly because the devices to reduce charges dampened the increases caused by the reduction of working time. In terms of employment, the share of high skilled employees mainly increased at the expense of the share of skilled workers. The share of unskilled workers remained roughly stable.
    Keywords: labor cost, national contribution insurance, exemptions from national contribution insurance for low wage, reduction of working hours, employment by skill
    JEL: J21 J3 J82
    Date: 2012
  9. By: Christopher Kaminker; Fiona Stewart
    Abstract: Decarbonising the world?s energy system, moving towards a resource efficient economy and providing energy access for all will require doubling existing investment levels to around USD 2 trillion a year or 2% of GDP. Governments understand that large sums of capital will be required, and many are also realising the need for further recourse to private capital as public finances have become strained in many developed countries. Simultaneously, banking sector provision of long-term finance has become tighter due deleveraging and new financial regulations. With their USD 71 trillion in assets, institutional investors potentially have an important role to play. Given the current low interest rate environment and weak economic growth prospects in many OECD countries, institutional investors are increasingly looking for real asset classes which can deliver steady, preferably inflation-linked, income streams with low correlations to the returns of other investments. Clean energy projects may combine these sought-after characteristics.<P> Yet – outside the major pension funds and insurance companies – institutional investor allocations to clean energy projects remain limited, particularly when it comes to the types of direct investment which can help close the financing gap. Reasons for institutional investor hesitancy include a lack of information and expertise when it comes to the type of direct infrastructure investment required to finance clean energy projects, and a potentially unsupportive regulatory backdrop. These problems are compounded by a lack of suitable investment vehicles providing the risk/return profile that institutional investors need to manage the risks specific to clean energy projects. There are many species of risk, including regulatory risk stemming from a lack of clarity in terms of environmental and climate policy, and retroactive changes to support mechanisms. Progress is being made – with investor groups coming together to use their scale and build their expertise in clean energy investment. From the public and private sectors, actions are underway to scale up green bond offerings, create risk-mitigating public finance mechanisms and co-investment funding structures. These initiatives need to be encouraged, carefully monitored, and expanded where successful.
    Keywords: infrastructure, insurance companies, green growth, green bonds, pension funds
    JEL: G15 G18 G23 G28 J26
    Date: 2012–09–24
  10. By: Marsha R. Gold
    Keywords: Medicare Health Plans, Medicare Advantage, Testimony, Health
    JEL: I
    Date: 2012–09–21
  11. By: Rieck, Karsten Marshall Elseth (Department of Economics, University of Bergen)
    Abstract: In several European countries, a paternity quota has been introduced as part of paid parental leave to provide incentives for fathers to increase their child care responsibilities and household involvement.In this paper, we explore the introduction of the first paternity quota in Norway in 1993. Through a regression discontinuity (RD) framework, we examine the sickness absence of parents who had children just before and after the reform—due to the parents’ own illness and to care for close family members. Our findings suggest that the amount of sick leave taken by fathers has increased in the short and long term and that the amount of sick leave taken by mothers has decreased, although the estimates are not statistically significant. The results are supported by standard RD and robustness tests. We also address the relevance of a composition bias resulting from the unobservable latent sick leave of non-employed individuals. This sensitivity check shows that their latent absence may affect the estimated treatment effect.
    Keywords: sickness absence; paternity leave; child care
    JEL: I38 J13 J22
    Date: 2012–06–24

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