Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

The Distributional Effects of Medicare

Contents:

Author Info

  • Julie Lee
  • Mark McClellan
  • Jonathan Skinner

Abstract

The Medicare program is now an important source of transfers to elderly and disabled beneficiaries, and will continue to grow rapidly in the future. Because the Medicare program is so large in magnitude, it can have significant redistributional effects. In this paper, we measure the flow of Medicare benefits to high-income and low-income neighborhoods in 1990 and 1995. We find that Medicare spending per capita for the lowest income groups grew much more rapidly than Medicare spending in either high income or middle income neighborhoods. Home health care spending played an important role in the increased spending among the lowest income neighborhoods. To our knowledge, this differential shift in spending has not been documented, yet it exceeds in magnitude the entire per capita transfer from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and is half of the average transfers to the elderly poor from Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Recent cutbacks in home health care benefits may undo some of this change. Still, this example illustrates how specific technical changes in Medicare policy can have redistributional effects comparable to major and much more visible expenditure and tax policies.

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.nber.org/papers/w6910.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6910.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Jan 1999
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Julie Lee, Mark McClellan, Jonathan Skinner. "The Distributional Effects of Medicare," in James M. Poterba, editor, "Tax Policy and the Economy, volume 13" MIT Press (1999)
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6910

Note: HC
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. McClellan, Mark & Skinner, Jonathan, 2006. "The incidence of Medicare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 257-276, January.
  2. Mark G. Duggan, 2000. "Hospital Ownership And Public Medical Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1343-1373, November.
  3. Victor R. Fuchs, 1998. "Provide, Provide: The Economics of Aging," NBER Working Papers 6642, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Alan J. Auerbach & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1991. "Social Security and Medicare Policy From the Perspective of Generational Accounting," NBER Working Papers 3915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Manning, Willard G, et al, 1987. "Health Insurance and the Demand for Medical Care: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 251-77, June.
  6. Charles R. Link & Stephen H. Long & Russell F. Settle, 1982. "Equity and the Utilization of Health Care Services by the Medicare Elderly," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(2), pages 195-212.
  7. Panis, C.W.A. & Lillard, L.A., 1996. "Socioeconomic Differentials in the Returns to Social Security," Papers 96-05, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

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

Cited by:
  1. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Kent Smetters, 2003. "Fiscal and generational imbalances: new budget measures for new budget priorities," Policy Discussion Papers, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Dec.
  2. Jay Bhattacharya & Darius Lakdawalla, 2002. "Does Medicare Benefit the Poor? New Answers to an Old Question," NBER Working Papers 9280, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Mark McClellan, 2000. "Medicare Reform: Fundamental Problems, Incremental Steps," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 21-44, Spring.
  4. Robert Rosenman, 2011. "The public finance of healthy behavior," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 147(1), pages 173-188, April.
  5. Orsini, Chiara, 2010. "Changing the way the elderly live: Evidence from the home health care market in the United States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 142-152, February.
  6. Grabowski, David C. & Gruber, Jonathan, 2007. "Moral hazard in nursing home use," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 560-577, May.
  7. Mark McClellan & Jonathan Skinner, 1997. "The Incidence of Medicare," NBER Working Papers 6013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Amitabh Chandra & Jonathan Skinner, 2003. "Geography and Racial Health Disparities," NBER Working Papers 9513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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:nbr:nberwo:6910. 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: ().

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.