Costs and Benefits of In-Kind Transfers: The Case of Medicaid Home Care Benefits
Many large government programs provide benefits in kind as opposed to in cash. Providing benefits in kind potentially distorts decisions and leads to a deadweight loss if recipients value the benefits less than a cost-equivalent cash transfer. Yet providing benefits in kind may have some offsetting benefits, especially in terms of improving the targeting of benefits to desired beneficiaries. We complete what is to our knowledge one of the first empirical studies of the costs and benefits of providing transfers in kind as opposed to in cash. We focus on the case of the US Medicaid program's provision of in kind home health care benefits. Three state Medicaid programs completed randomized experiments that converted the usual in-kind benefits into cash benefits for a randomly-selected subset of benefit recipients. We use the results of these experiments together with a variety of other evidence to estimate the costs and benefits of providing Medicaid home care benefits in kind. We find that in the case of Medicaid home care benefits, both the costs and benefits of providing transfers in kind as opposed to in cash are large. This suggests that alternative targeting mechanisms, if available, have the potential to significantly increase efficiency relative to traditional Medicaid policy.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (734) 615-0422
Fax: (734) 647-4575
Web page: http://www.mrrc.isr.umich.edu/publications/papers/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Nichols, Albert L & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1982. "Targeting Transfers through Restrictions on Recipients," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 372-77, May.
- Janet Currie & Firouz Gahvari, 2007.
"Transfers in Cash and In Kind: Theory Meets the Data,"
NBER Working Papers
13557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Janet Currie & Firouz Gahvari, 2008. "Transfers in Cash and In-Kind: Theory Meets the Data," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(2), pages 333-83, June.
- Hilary W. Hoynes & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach & Douglas Almond, 2012. "Long Run Impacts of Childhood Access to the Safety Net," NBER Working Papers 18535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hilary W. Hoynes & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2009.
"Consumption Responses to In-Kind Transfers: Evidence from the Introduction of the Food Stamp Program,"
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
American Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 109-39, October.
- Hilary W. Hoynes & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2007. "Consumption Reponses to In-Kind Transfers: Evidence from the Introduction of the Food Stamp Program," Working Papers 0711, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
- Hilary W. Hoynes & Diane Schanzenbach, 2007. "Consumption Responses to In-Kind Transfers: Evidence from the Introduction of the Food Stamp Program," NBER Working Papers 13025, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jesse Cunha, 2010. "Testing Paternalism: Cash vs. In-kind Transfer in Rural Mexico," Discussion Papers 09-021, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
- Neil Bruce & Michael Waldman, 1988.
"Transfers in Kind: Why They Can Be Efficient and Non-Paternalistic,"
UCLA Economics Working Papers
532, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Bruce, Neil & Waldman, Michael, 1991. "Transfers in Kind: Why They Can Be Efficient and Nonpaternalistic," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1345-51, December.
- Sarah Baird & Craig McIntosh & Berk �zler, 2011.
"Cash or Condition? Evidence from a Cash Transfer Experiment,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1709-1753.
- Baird, Sarah & Mcintosh, Craig & Ozler, Berk, 2010. "Cash or condition ? evidence from a cash transfer experiment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5259, The World Bank.
- Munro, Alistair, 1992.
"Self-Selection and Optimal In-Sind Transfers,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(414), pages 1184-96, September.
- Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Claus Thustrup Kreiner, 2003. "The Marginal Cost of Public Funds in OECD Countries. Hours of Work Versus Labor Force Participation," CESifo Working Paper Series 935, CESifo Group Munich.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp294. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (MRRC Administrator)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.