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Willingness-to-pay for parallel private health insurance: evidence from a laboratory experiment

  • Neil J. Buckley
  • Katherine Cuff
  • Jeremiah Hurley
  • Logan McLeod
  • Robert Nuscheler
  • David Cameron

Debate over the effects of public versus private health care finance persists in both academic and policy circles. This paper presents the results of a revealed preference laboratory experiment that tests how characteristics of the public health system affect a subject's willingness-to-pay (WTP) for parallel private health insurance. Consistent with the theoretical predictions of Cuff et al. (2010), subjects' average WTP is lower and the size of the private insurance sector smaller when the public system allocates health care based on need rather than randomly and when the probability of receiving health care from the public system is high.

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Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 45 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 137-166

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:45:y:2012:i:1:p:137-166
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  1. Propper, Carol, 2000. "The demand for private health care in the UK," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 855-876, November.
  2. Aki Tsuchiya & Paul Dolan, 2009. "Equality of what in health? Distinguishing between outcome egalitarianism and gain egalitarianism," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(2), pages 147-159.
  3. Karni, Edi & Safra, Zvi, 1987. ""Preference Reversal' and the Observability of Preferences by Experimental Methods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 675-85, May.
  4. Tim Besley & John Hall & Ian Preston, 1996. "The demand for private health insurance: do waiting lists matter?," IFS Working Papers W96/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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