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Separating selection and incentive effects in health insurance


  • Lucien Gardiol

    (IEMS - Institut d'économie et de management de la santé - UNIL - Université de Lausanne)

  • Pierre-Yves Geoffard

    (IEMS - Institut d'économie et de management de la santé - UNIL - Université de Lausanne, PJSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR)

  • Chantal Grandchamp

    (IEMS - Institut d'économie et de management de la santé - UNIL - Université de Lausanne)


This paper provides an analysis of the health insurance and health care consumption. A structural microeconomic model of joint demand for health insurance and health care is developed and estimated using full maximum likelihood method using Swiss insurance claims data for over 60 000 adult individuals. The estimation strategy relies on the institutional features of the Swiss system, in which each individual chooses among the same menu of contracts, ranked by the size of their deductible. The empirical analysis shows strong and robust evidence of selection effects. Nevertheless, once selection effects are controlled for, an important incentive effect ("ex-post moral hazard") remains. A decrease in the copayment rate from 100% to 10% increases the marginal demand for health care by about 90% and from 100% to 0% by about 150%. The correlation between insurance coverage and health care expenditures may be decomposed into the two effects: 75% may be attributed to selection, and 25 % to incentive effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Lucien Gardiol & Pierre-Yves Geoffard & Chantal Grandchamp, 2005. "Separating selection and incentive effects in health insurance," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590713, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00590713
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
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    3. Mullahy, John, 1998. "Much ado about two: reconsidering retransformation and the two-part model in health econometrics," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 247-281, June.
    4. Lucien Gardiol & Pierre-Yves Geoffard & Chantal Grandchamp, 2003. "Separating Selection and Incentive Effects: an Econometric Study of Swiss Health Insurance Claims Data," DELTA Working Papers 2003-27, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
    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. Eichner, Matthew J, 1998. "The Demand for Medical Care: What People Pay Does Matter," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 117-121, May.
    7. Cutler, David M. & Zeckhauser, Richard J., 2000. "The anatomy of health insurance," Handbook of Health Economics,in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 563-643 Elsevier.
    8. Pierre-Andre Chiappori & Bernard Salanie, 2000. "Testing for Asymmetric Information in Insurance Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(1), pages 56-78, February.
    9. Keeler, Emmett B & Newhouse, Joseph P & Phelps, C E, 1977. "Deductibles and the Demand for Medical Care Services: The Theory of a Consumer Facing a Variable Price Schedule under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(3), pages 641-655, April.
    10. Cardon, James H & Hendel, Igal, 2001. "Asymmetric Information in Health Insurance: Evidence from the National Medical Expenditure Survey," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 408-427, Autumn.
    11. Manning, Willard G., 1998. "The logged dependent variable, heteroscedasticity, and the retransformation problem," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 283-295, June.
    12. A. C. Cameron & 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 85-106.
    13. David M. Cutler & Sarah J. Reber, 1998. "Paying for Health Insurance: The Trade-Off between Competition and Adverse Selection," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 433-466.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michel Grignon & Marc Perronnin & John N. Lavis, 2008. "Does free complementary health insurance help the poor to access health care? Evidence from France," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(2), pages 203-219.
    2. Chantal Grandchamp & Lucien Gardiol, 2011. "Does a mandatory telemedicine call prior to visiting a physician reduce costs or simply attract good risks?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(10), pages 1257-1267, October.
    3. R. Kleef & K. Beck & W. Ven & R. Vliet, 2007. "Does risk equalization reduce the viability of voluntary deductibles?," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 43-58, March.
    4. Erik Schokkaert & Tom Van Ourti & Diana De Graeve & Ann Lecluyse & Carine Van de Voorde, 2010. "Supplemental health insurance and equality of access in Belgium," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 377-395.
    5. Trottmann, Maria & Zweifel, Peter & Beck, Konstantin, 2012. "Supply-side and demand-side cost sharing in deregulated social health insurance: Which is more effective?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 231-242.
    6. Marcel Bilger & Jean-Paul Chaze, 2008. "What Drives Individual Health Expenditure in Switzerland?," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 144(III), pages 337-358, September.
    7. Barros, Pedro Pita & Machado, Matilde P. & Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna, 2008. "Moral hazard and the demand for health services: A matching estimator approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 1006-1025, July.
    8. Vincenzo Atella & Alberto Holly & Alessandro Mistretta, 2016. "Disentangling Adverse Selection, Moral Hazard and Supply Induced Demand: An Empirical Analysis of The Demand For Healthcare Services," CEIS Research Paper 389, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 28 Jun 2016.
    9. Pau Olivella & Marcos Vera-Hernandez, 2006. "Testing for adverse selection into private medical insurance," IFS Working Papers W06/02, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    10. Renate Lange & Jörg Schiller & Petra Steinorth, 2015. "Demand and Selection Effects in Supplemental Health Insurance in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 757, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    11. World Bank, 2009. "Europe and Central Asia - Health insurance and competition," World Bank Other Operational Studies 3064, The World Bank.
    12. Omar Paccagnella & Vincenzo Rebba & Guglielmo Weber, 2013. "VOLUNTARY PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE AMONG THE OVER 50s IN EUROPE," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(3), pages 289-315, March.
    13. repec:dau:papers:123456789/5055 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Richard C. van Kleef & Wynand P. M. M. van de Ven & René C. J. A. van Vliet, 2006. "A Voluntary Deductible in Social Health Insurance with Risk Equalization: "Community-Rated or Risk-Rated Premium Rebate?"," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 73(3), pages 529-550.

    More about this item


    health insurance; demand for health care; moral hazard; adverse selection; full maximum likelihood estimation; assurance maladie; demande de soins; aléa moral; antisélection; estimation par maximum de vraisemblance totale;

    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets


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