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Genetic testing and repulsion from chance

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Author Info

  • Hoel, Michael

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

  • Iversen, Tor

    ()
    (Department of Health Management and Health Economics, University of Oslo, Rikshospitalet,)

  • Nilssen, Tore

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

  • Vislie, Jon

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

Abstract

A central theme in the international debate on genetic testing concerns the extent to which insurance companies should be allowed to use genetic information in their design of insurance contracts. We analyze this issue within a model with the following important feature: A person’s well-being depends on the perceived probability of becoming ill in the future in a way that varies among individuals. We show that both tested high-risks and untested individuals are equally well off whether or not test results can be used by insurers. Individuals who test for being low-risks, on the other hand, are made worse off by not being able to verify this to insurers. This implies that verifiability dominates nonverifiability in an ex-ante sense.

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File URL: http://www.sv.uio.no/econ/english/research/unpublished-works/working-papers/pdf-files/2003/Memo-20-2003.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Oslo University, Department of Economics in its series Memorandum with number 20/2003.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 06 Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Health Economics, 2006, pages 847-860.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2003_020

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Postal: Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Phone: 22 85 51 27
Fax: 22 85 50 35
Email:
Web page: http://www.oekonomi.uio.no/indexe.html
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Keywords: Genetic testing; asymmetric information; insurance;

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  1. Strohmenger, R. & Wambach, A., 2000. "Adverse selection and categorical discrimination in the health insurance markets: the effects of genetic tests," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 197-218, March.
  2. Kuehn, Astrid & Wambach, Achim, 2001. "Breakdown of Will and the Value of Information," CEPR Discussion Papers 3111, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Michael Hoel & Tor Iversen, 2001. "Genetic Testing When There is a Mix of Compulsory and Voluntary Health Insurance," CESifo Working Paper Series 495, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. David M Kreps & Evan L Porteus, 1978. "Temporal Resolution of Uncertainty and Dynamic Choice Theory," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625018000000000009, David K. Levine.
  5. Holmstrom, Bengt & Myerson, Roger B, 1983. "Efficient and Durable Decision Rules with Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1799-819, November.
  6. Grant, Simon & Kajii, Atsushi & Polak, Ben, 1998. "Intrinsic Preference for Information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 233-259, December.
  7. Doherty, Neil A. & Thistle, Paul D., 1996. "Adverse selection with endogenous information in insurance markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 83-102, December.
  8. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
  9. Marie-Cécile FAGART & Bidénam KAMBIA-CHOPIN, 2006. "Prevention in insurance markets," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 82, pages 55-70.
  10. Hoy, Michael & Polborn, Mattias, 2000. "The value of genetic information in the life insurance market," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 235-252, November.
  11. Chew, Soo Hong & Ho, Joanna L, 1994. "Hope: An Empirical Study of Attitude toward the Timing of Uncertainty Resolution," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 267-88, May.
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