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Price elasticity of expenditure across health care services

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  • Duarte, Fabian

Abstract

Policymakers in countries around the world are faced with rising health care costs and are debating ways to reform health care to reduce expenditures. Estimates of price elasticity of expenditure are a key component for predicting expenditures under alternative policies. Using unique individual-level data compiled from administrative records from the Chilean private health insurance market, I estimate the price elasticity of expenditures across a variety of health care services. I find elasticities that range between zero for the most acute service (appendectomy) and −2.08 for the most elective (psychologist visit). Moreover, the results show that at least one third of the elasticity is explained by the number of visits; the rest is explained by the intensity of each visit. Finally, I find that high-income individuals are five times more price sensitive than low-income individuals and that older individuals are less price-sensitive than young individuals.

Suggested Citation

  • Duarte, Fabian, 2012. "Price elasticity of expenditure across health care services," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 824-841.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:31:y:2012:i:6:p:824-841
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2012.07.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dalton, Christina M., 2014. "Estimating demand elasticities using nonlinear pricing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 178-191.
    2. Juan Contreras & Elena Patel & Ignez Tristao, 2013. "Production Factors, Productivity Dynamics and Quality Gains as Determinants of Healthcare Spending Growth in U.S. Hospitals," Working Papers 2013-13, Banco de México.
    3. Roquebert, Q. & Tenand, M., 2016. "Pay less, consume more? Estimating the price elasticity of demand for home care services of the disabled elderly," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 16/16, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    4. Kowalski, Amanda E., 2015. "Estimating the tradeoff between risk protection and moral hazard with a nonlinear budget set model of health insurance," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 122-135.
    5. Jianmei Zhao & Hai Zhong, 2015. "Medical expenditure in urban China: a quantile regression analysis," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 387-406, December.
    6. repec:ecr:col070:43448 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Lucas Higuera & Sergio Iván Prada, 2016. "Barrier to Access or Cost Share? Coinsurance and Dental-Care Utilization in Colombia," Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, Springer, vol. 14(5), pages 569-578, October.
    8. Supon Limwattananon & Sven Neelsen & Owen O'Donnell & Phusit Prakongsai & Viroj Tangcharoensathien & Eddy van Doorslaer & Vuthiphan Vongmongkol, 2013. "Universal Coverage on a Budget: Impacts on Health Care Utilization and Out-Of-Pocket Expenditures in Thailand," CESifo Working Paper Series 4262, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. David Powell & Dana Goldman, 2016. "Disentangling Moral Hazard and Adverse Selection in Private Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 21858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Ha Trong Nguyen & Luke B Connelly, 2017. "Cost-sharing in health insurance and its impact in a developing country: evidence from a quasi-natural experiment," Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre Working Paper series WP1702, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School.
    11. Frankovic, Ivan & Kuhn, Michael, 2018. "Health insurance, endogenous medical progress, and health expenditure growth," ECON WPS - Vienna University of Technology Working Papers in Economic Theory and Policy 01/2018, Vienna University of Technology, Institute for Mathematical Methods in Economics, Research Group Economics (ECON).
    12. Abe Dunn, 2014. "Health Insurance and the Demand for Medical Care: Instrumental Variable Estimates Using Health Insurer Claims Data," BEA Working Papers 0107, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
    13. Chung Jen Yang & Ying Che Tsai & Joseph J. Tien, 2017. "The Impacts of Persistent Behaviour and Cost-Sharing Policy on Demand for Outpatient Visits by the Elderly: Evidence from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 42(1), pages 31-52, January.
    14. repec:eee:jhecon:v:55:y:2017:i:c:p:232-243 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Galina Besstremyannaya, 2014. "Heterogeneous effect of coinsurance rate on healthcare costs: generalized finite mixtures and matching estimators," Discussion Papers 14-014, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    16. Cristian Pardo & Whitney Schott, 2012. "Public versus private: evidence on health insurance selection," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 39-61, March.
    17. Randall P. Ellis & Wenjia Zhu, 2016. "Health Plan Type Variations in Spells of Health-Care Treatment," American Journal of Health Economics, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 399-430, Fall.
    18. Dunn, Abe, 2016. "Health insurance and the demand for medical care: Instrumental variable estimates using health insurer claims data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 74-88.
    19. Sofia Vaz & Pedro Ramos, 2016. "Where did civil servants go? the effect of an increase in public co-payments on double insured patients," Health Economics Review, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 1-8, December.
    20. David Powell & Dana P. Goldman, 2014. "Moral Hazard and Adverse Selection in Private Health Insurance," Working Papers WR-1032, RAND Corporation.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Elasticity; Health economics; Health expenditures; Consumer behavior; Moral hazard;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private

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