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Health Values, Preference Inconsistency, and Insurance Demand

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  • Matthias Wrede

Abstract

Several empirical studies provide evidence that their actual health state affects people’s attitudes towards health and medical care in hypothetical health states. In the tradition of behavioural economics this paper considers the actual health state as a point of reference and builds a model for studying the implications of this phenomenon on health insurance and on demand for medical care. It considers the insurance demand of different types of agents: naive individuals, individuals who are able to commit to medical care demand and sophisticated individuals. Furthermore, it raises the question of whether inconsistency of preferences reinforces or tones down moral hazard problems.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthias Wrede, 2005. "Health Values, Preference Inconsistency, and Insurance Demand," CESifo Working Paper Series 1634, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1634
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp1634.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    2. Koszegi, Botond, 2003. "Health anxiety and patient behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 1073-1084, November.
    3. Blomqvist, Ake, 1997. "Optimal non-linear health insurance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 303-321, June.
    4. Kopczuk Wojciech & Slemrod Joel, 2005. "Denial of Death and Economic Behavior," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-26, August.
    5. Diamond, Peter & Koszegi, Botond, 2003. "Quasi-hyperbolic discounting and retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 1839-1872, September.
    6. Philip J. Cook & Daniel A. Graham, 1977. "The Demand for Insurance and Protection: The Case of Irreplaceable Commodities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 91(1), pages 143-156.
    7. Norton, Edward C., 2000. "Long-term care," Handbook of Health Economics,in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 17, pages 955-994 Elsevier.
    8. Richard G. Frank, 2004. "Behavioral Economics and Health Economics," NBER Working Papers 10881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
    10. Zeckhauser, Richard, 1970. "Medical insurance: A case study of the tradeoff between risk spreading and appropriate incentives," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 10-26, March.
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    Keywords

    health insurance; medical care; health state; behavioural economics; prospect theory; time inconsistency;

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