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

  • Ray Rees

    (Univerity of Munich)

  • Patricia Apps

    ()

    (Univerity of Sydney)

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.

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

Paper provided by CHERE, University of Technology, Sydney in its series Working Papers with number 2006/3.

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Date of creation: Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:her:chewps:2006/3
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  1. 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.
  2. Michael Hoy & Fabienne Orsi & FranÁois Eisinger & Jean Paul Moatti, 2003. "The Impact of Genetic Testing on Healthcare Insurance," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance, The International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics, vol. 28, pages 203-221, 04.
  3. Cutler David M. & Zeckhauser Richard J., 1998. "Adverse Selection in Health Insurance," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-33, January.
  4. 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 153-69, February.
  5. 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.
  6. Wilson, Charles, 1977. "A model of insurance markets with incomplete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 167-207, December.
  7. David M. Cutler & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 1999. "The Anatomy of Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 7176, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Hoy, Michael, 1982. "Categorizing Risks in the Insurance Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(2), pages 321-36, May.
  9. Tabarrok, Alexander, 1994. "Genetic testing: An economic and contractarian analysis," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 75-91, March.
  10. Harris Milton & Townsend, Robert M, 1981. "Resource Allocation under Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(1), pages 33-64, January.
  11. 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 561-74, September.
  12. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
  13. Hoy, Michael, 1989. "The value of screening mechanisms under alternative insurance possibilities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 177-206, July.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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