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Moral Hazard And The Demand For Health Services: A Matching Estimator Approach

  • Pedro Pita Barros
  • Matilde P. Machado

    ()

  • Anna Sanz de Galdeano

In this paper we estimate the impact of health insurance coverage beyond National Health Insurance on the demand for several health services. Traditionally, the literature has tried to deal with the endogeneity of the private (extra) insurance decision by finding instrumental variables. It is hard to think, however, of any variable that a priori would be a good instrument and, therefore, we take a different approach. We concentrate on the most common health insurance plan in the Portuguese Health Survey, (ADSE), which is given to all civil servants and their dependants. We argue that this insurance is exogenous for most people i.e. not correlated with their health status. Under this identifying assumption we estimate the impact of having ADSE coverage on three different health services using a matching estimator technique. The measures of demand for health services are number of visits, number of blood and urine tests, and the probability of visiting a dentist. Preliminary results show large effects of ADSE for number of visits and tests among the young (18 to 30 years old) but only for tests are these effects statistically significantly different from zero. The magnitude of the effects represent 21.8 and 30 percent of the average number of visits and tests for the young. On the contrary we find no evidence of moral hazard on the probability of visiting a dentist. Finally, we argue that there is evidence of a positive cumulative effect of ADSE over the years.

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Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía in its series Economics Working Papers with number we055928.

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Date of creation: Oct 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we055928
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  1. Lucien Gardiol & Pierre-Yves Geoffard & Chantal Grandchamp, 2005. "Separating selection and incentive effects in health insurance," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590713, HAL.
  2. Guido W. Imbens, 2003. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects under Exogeneity: A Review," NBER Technical Working Papers 0294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Windmeijer, F A G & Silva, J M C Santos, 1997. "Endogeneity in Count Data Models: An Application to Demand for Health Care," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 281-94, May-June.
  4. Antonio Trujillo & Jorge Portillo & John Vernon, 2005. "The Impact of Subsidized Health Insurance for the Poor: Evaluating the Colombian Experience Using Propensity Score Matching," International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 211-239, September.
  5. Holly, Alberto & Gardiol, Lucien & Domenighetti, Gianfranco & Brigitte Bisig, 1998. "An econometric model of health care utilization and health insurance in Switzerland," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 513-522, May.
  6. Sergi Jiménez-Mart�n & José M. Labeaga & Maite Mart�nez-Granado, 2002. "Latent class versus two-part models in the demand for physician services across the European Union," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 301-321.
  7. Manning, Willard G, et al, 1987. "Health Insurance and the Demand for Medical Care: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 251-77, June.
  8. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre & Durand, Franck & Geoffard, Pierre-Yves, 1998. "Moral hazard and the demand for physician services: First lessons from a French natural experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 499-511, May.
  9. Coulson, N.E. & Terza, J. & Neslusan, C.A. & Stuart, B., 1995. "Estimating the Moral Hazard Effect of Supplemental Medical Insurance in the Demand for Prescription Drugs by the Elderly," Papers 04-95-01, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  10. Deb, Partha & Trivedi, Pravin K., 2002. "The structure of demand for health care: latent class versus two-part models," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 601-625, July.
  11. Joao M.C. Santos Silva & Frank Windmeijer, 1999. "Two-part multiple spell models for health care demand," IFS Working Papers W99/02, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  12. �ngel Marcos Vera-Hernández, 1999. "Duplicate coverage and demand for health care. The case of Catalonia," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(7), pages 579-598.
  13. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00590713 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Cameron, A C & P. K. Trivedi & Frank Milne & J. Piggott, 1988. "A Microeconometric Model of the Demand for Health Care and Health Insurance in Australia," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 85-106, January.
  15. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "On the Failure of the Bootstrap for Matching Estimators," NBER Technical Working Papers 0325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Carine Van De Voorde & Eddy Van Doorslaer & Erik Schokkaert, 2001. "Effects of cost sharing on physician utilization under favourable conditions for supplier-induced demand," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(5), pages 457-471.
  17. Savage, Elizabeth & Wright, Donald J., 2003. "Moral hazard and adverse selection in Australian private hospitals: 1989-1990," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 331-359, May.
  18. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "Large Sample Properties of Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 235-267, 01.
  19. Pau Olivella & Marcos Vera-Hernandez, 2006. "Testing for adverse selection into private medical insurance," IFS Working Papers W06/02, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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