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Genetic testing, income distribution and insurance markets, CHERE Working Paper 2006/3

Author

Listed:
  • Ray Rees

    (Univerity of Munich)

  • Patricia Apps

    () (Univerity of Sydney)

Abstract

This paper analyses the policy implications for health insurance markets of the development of genetic testing. A central issue surrounding this development is whether insurers should be allowed access to the information provided by such tests. The paper first shows that on efficiency grounds alone, insurance buyers should be allowed voluntarily to supply this information to insurers. The source of the considerable opposition to this proposal is really the distributional implications: those with the worst genetic endowments will as a result have to pay the highest insurance premiums. The paper then goes on to analyse possible redistributional policies that can remedy this. In doing so, it makes a significant departure from the mainstream literature on adverse selection in insurance markets, by assuming that individuals have differing income endowments.

Suggested Citation

  • Ray Rees & Patricia Apps, 2006. "Genetic testing, income distribution and insurance markets, CHERE Working Paper 2006/3," Working Papers 2006/3, CHERE, University of Technology, Sydney.
  • Handle: RePEc:her:chewps:2006/3
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.chere.uts.edu.au/pdf/insurance.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2006
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Strohmenger, R. & Wambach, A., 2000. "Adverse selection and categorical discrimination in the health insurance markets: the effects of genetic tests," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 197-218, March.
    2. Smart, Michael, 2000. "Competitive Insurance Markets with Two Unobservables," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(1), pages 153-169, February.
    3. Hoy, Michael & Polborn, Mattias, 2000. "The value of genetic information in the life insurance market," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 235-252, November.
    4. Hoy, Michael, 1989. "The value of screening mechanisms under alternative insurance possibilities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 177-206, July.
    5. Bertrand Villeneuve, 2003. "Concurrence et antisélection multidimensionnelle en assurance," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 69, pages 119-142.
    6. 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.
    7. David M. Cutler & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 1998. "Adverse Selection in Health Insurance," NBER Chapters,in: Frontiers in Health Policy Research, Volume 1, pages 1-32 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Michael Hoy, 1982. "Categorizing Risks in the Insurance Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(2), pages 321-336.
    9. Doherty, Neil A. & Thistle, Paul D., 1996. "Adverse selection with endogenous information in insurance markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 83-102, December.
    10. Tabarrok, Alexander, 1994. "Genetic testing: An economic and contractarian analysis," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 75-91, March.
    11. Wilson, Charles, 1977. "A model of insurance markets with incomplete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 167-207, December.
    12. Crocker, Keith J. & Snow, Arthur, 1992. "The social value of hidden information in adverse selection economies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 317-347, August.
    13. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1971. "The Private and Social Value of Information and the Reward to Inventive Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(4), pages 561-574, September.
    14. Harris Milton & Townsend, Robert M, 1981. "Resource Allocation under Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(1), pages 33-64, January.
    15. Michael Hoy & Fabienne Orsi & François Eisinger & Jean Paul Moatti, 2003. "The Impact of Genetic Testing on Healthcare Insurance," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 28(2), pages 203-221, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bardey, David & De Donder, Philippe, 2013. "Genetic testing with primary prevention and moral hazard," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 768-779.
    2. Kesternich, Iris & Schumacher, Heiner, 2009. "On the Use of Information in Repeated Insurance Markets," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 280, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    health insurance; genetic testing;

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets

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