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Estimating the Value of Public Insurance Using Complementary Private Insurance

Author

Listed:
  • Marika Cabral
  • Mark R. Cullen

Abstract

The welfare associated with public insurance is often difficult to quantify because the demand for coverage is unobserved and thus cannot be used to analyze welfare. However, in many settings, individuals can purchase private insurance to supplement public coverage. This paper outlines an approach to use data and variation from private complementary insurance to quantify welfare associated with counterfactuals related to compulsory public insurance. We then apply this approach using administrative data on disability insurance. Our findings suggests that public disability insurance generates substantial surplus for the sample population, and there may be gains to increasing the generosity of coverage.

Suggested Citation

  • Marika Cabral & Mark R. Cullen, 2016. "Estimating the Value of Public Insurance Using Complementary Private Insurance," NBER Working Papers 22583, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22583
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andreas Ravndal Kostøl & Magne Mogstad, 2015. "Earnings, Disposable Income, and Consumption of Allowed and Rejected Disability Insurance Applicants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 137-141, May.
    2. Marika Cabral & Neale Mahoney, 2014. "Externalities and Taxation of Supplemental Insurance: A Study of Medicare and Medigap," NBER Working Papers 19787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Martin B. Hackmann & Jonathan T. Kolstad & Amanda E. Kowalski, 2015. "Adverse Selection and an Individual Mandate: When Theory Meets Practice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(3), pages 1030-1066, March.
    4. Eeckhoudt, L. & Gollier, C., 1998. "Which Shape for the Cost Curve of Risk?," Papers 98.490, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
    5. repec:hrv:faseco:34330197 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. David H. Autor & Mark G. Duggan, 2006. "The Growth in the Social Security Disability Rolls: A Fiscal Crisis Unfolding," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 71-96, Summer.
    7. Amy Finkelstein & Nathaniel Hendren & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2019. "The Value of Medicaid: Interpreting Results from the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(6), pages 2836-2874.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kenneth Brevoort & Daniel Grodzicki & Martin B. Hackmann, 2017. "Medicaid and Financial Health," NBER Working Papers 24002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

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