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Social Insurance and Health

In: Health Econometrics

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  • Nicolas R. Ziebarth

Abstract

This chapter reviews the existing empirical evidence on how social insurance affects health. Social insurance encompasses programs primarily designed to insure against health risks, such as health insurance, sick leave insurance, accident insurance, long-term care insurance, and disability insurance as well as other programs, such as unemployment insurance, pension insurance, and country-specific social insurance programs. These insurance systems exist in almost all developed countries around the world. This chapter discusses the state-of-the art evidence on each of these social insurance systems, briefly reviews the empirical methods for identifying causal effects, and examines possible limitations to these methods. The findings reveal robust and rich evidence on first-stage behavioral responses (“moral hazard”) to changes in insurance coverage. Surprisingly, evidence on how changes in coverage impact beneficiaries’ health is scant and inconclusive. This lack of identified causal health effects is directly related to limitations on how human health is typically measured, limitations on the empirical approaches, and a paucity of administrative panel data spanning long-time horizons. Future research must be conducted to fill these gaps. Of particular importance is evidence on how these social insurance systems interact and affect human health over the life cycle.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolas R. Ziebarth, 2018. "Social Insurance and Health," Contributions to Economic Analysis, in: Health Econometrics, volume 127, pages 57-84, Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:ceazzz:s0573-855520180000294003
    DOI: 10.1108/S0573-855520180000294003
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    Cited by:

    1. Nikolov, Plamen & Bonci, Matthew, 2020. "Do public program benefits crowd out private transfers in developing countries? A critical review of recent evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 134(C).
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    3. Dominique Anxo & Thomas Ericson & Chizheng Miao, 2019. "Impact of late and prolonged working life on subjective health: the Swedish experience," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 20(3), pages 389-405, April.
    4. Slopen, Meredith, 2023. "The impact of paid sick leave mandates on women's health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 323(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social insurance; health; causal effects; microeconometrics; reduced-form methods; structural methods;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor

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