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Sharing Health Risk and Income Risk within Households: Evidence from Japanese Data

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  • Atsushi Yoshida
  • Young-Sook Kim

Abstract

We examine the question of which household members should consume medical services, and in what quantities, by using Japanese household-level data. We employ two key concepts, health risk and income risk, and investigate whether family heads or dependents bear these risks. Health risk is the risk that a household member falls ill, while income risk is the risk that future household income decreases. We find that both heads and dependents make fewer visits to doctors as household size increases. We also find that only dependents visited doctors less frequently following the reform of the public health insurance system, which raised the co-payment rate of family heads from 10% to 20%. These findings imply that heads and dependents share health risk but dependents bear income risk

Suggested Citation

  • Atsushi Yoshida & Young-Sook Kim, 2004. "Sharing Health Risk and Income Risk within Households: Evidence from Japanese Data," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 583, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:feam04:583
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    File URL: http://repec.org/esFEAM04/up.1407.1080265878.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-1093, Nov.-Dec..
    2. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, January.
    3. Bourguignon, Francois & Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1992. "Collective models of household behavior : An introduction," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 355-364, April.
    4. Winfried Pohlmeier & Volker Ulrich, 1995. "An Econometric Model of the Two-Part Decisionmaking Process in the Demand for Health Care," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(2), pages 339-361.
    5. Atsushi Yoshida & Shingo Takagi, 2002. "Effects of the Reform of the Social Medical Insurance System in Japan," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 53(4), pages 444-465.
    6. McElroy, Marjorie B & Horney, Mary Jean, 1981. "Nash-Bargained Household Decisions: Toward a Generalization of the Theory of Demand," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 22(2), pages 333-349, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    co-payment; health risk; income risk; public health insurance;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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