Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Estimating Welfare in Insurance Markets Using Variation in Prices

Contents:

Author Info

  • Liran Einav

    (Stanford University and National Bureau of Economic Research.)

  • Amy Finkelstein

    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and National Bureau of Economic Research.)

  • Mark R. Cullen

    (Stanford University.)

Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    We provide a graphical illustration of how standard consumer and producer theory can be used to quantify the welfare loss associated with inefficient pricing in insurance markets with selection. We then show how this welfare loss can be estimated empirically using identifying variation in the price of insurance. Such variation, together with quantity data, allows us to estimate the demand for insurance. The same variation, together with cost data, allows us to estimate how insurers' costs vary as market participants endogenously respond to price. The slope of this estimated cost curve provides a direct test for both the existence and the nature of selection, and the combination of demand and cost curves can be used to estimate welfare. We illustrate our approach by applying it to data on employer-provided health insurance from one specific company. We detect adverse selection but estimate that the quantitative welfare implications associated with inefficient pricing in our particular application are small, in both absolute and relative terms. (c) 2010 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology..

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1162/qjec.2010.125.3.877
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Quarterly Journal of Economics.

    Volume (Year): 125 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 3 (August)
    Pages: 877-921

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:125:y:2010:i:3:p:877-921

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

    Order Information:
    Web: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journal-home.tcl?issn=00335533

    Related research

    Keywords:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:125:y:2010:i:3:p:877-921. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Karie Kirkpatrick).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.