IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ucp/jlawec/v52y2009i3p497-522.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Effect of Cost Suppression under Universal Health Insurance on the Allocation of Talent and the Development of Expertise: Cosmetic Surgery in Japan

Author

Listed:
  • J. Mark Ramseyer

Abstract

Japanese national health insurance provides universal coverage. This system necessarily entails a subsidy that dramatically raises the demand for medical services. In the face of the increased demand, the government suppresses costs by suppressing prices. Through biographical and income data on more than 4,000 Tokyo physicians, I explore the effect of this price suppression on the allocation of talent and the development of expertise. Crucially, this national health insurance does not cover services-like elective cosmetic surgery-deemed medically superfluous. Facing price caps in the covered sector but competitive prices in these "superfluous" sectors, the most talented doctors disproportionately shift into the "superfluous" sectors and there invest heavily in their expertise: cosmetic surgeons are more likely than other doctors (more likely even than noncosmetic plastic surgeons) to have attended a more selective medical school, to have served on a medical school faculty, to be board certified, and to earn high incomes. (c) 2009 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

Suggested Citation

  • J. Mark Ramseyer, 2009. "The Effect of Cost Suppression under Universal Health Insurance on the Allocation of Talent and the Development of Expertise: Cosmetic Surgery in Japan," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(3), pages 497-522, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:52:y:2009:i:3:p:497-522
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/592005
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Daiji Kawaguchi & Tetsushi Murao & Ryo Kambayashi, 2014. "Incidence of Strict Quality Standards: Protection of Consumers or Windfall for Professionals?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(1), pages 195-224.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:52:y:2009:i:3:p:497-522. 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: (Journals Division). General contact details of provider: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/ .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.