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Households’ precautionary behaviors—the effects of the introduction of National Health Insurance in Taiwan

  • Shin-Yi Chou


  • Jin-Tan Liu
  • James Hammitt

By reducing risk of large out-of-pocket medical expenses, comprehensive social health insurance may reduce households’ motivation to engage in precautionary behaviors such as saving, procurement of private insurance, and spousal labor-force participation. We use the natural experiment provided by the 1995 introduction of National Health Insurance in Taiwan to examine these effects, using pre-existing differences in access to health insurance (tied to the household head’s and spouse’s joint employment status) to identify the effects of increasing insurance coverage. We find that comprehensive health insurance has a statistically significant and large effect on household savings, but no significant effects on purchase of private accident insurance and spousal employment. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Review of Economics of the Household.

Volume (Year): 4 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 395-421

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Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:4:y:2006:i:4:p:395-421
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