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Macroeconomic Effects of Medicare

Author

Listed:
  • Juan Carlos Conesa
  • Daniela Costa
  • Parisa Kamali
  • Timothy J. Kehoe
  • Vegard M. Nygard
  • Gajendran Raveendranathan
  • Akshar Saxena

Abstract

This paper develops an overlapping generations model to study the macroeconomic effects of an unexpected elimination of Medicare. We find that a large share of the elderly respond by substituting Medicaid for Medicare. Consequently, the government saves only 46 cents for every dollar cut in Medicare spending. We argue that a comparison of steady states is insufficient to evaluate the welfare effects of the reform. In particular, we find lower ex-ante welfare gains from eliminating Medicare when we account for the costs of transition. Lastly, we find that a majority of the current population benefits from the reform but that aggregate welfare, measured as the dollar value of the sum of wealth equivalent variations, is higher with Medicare.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan Carlos Conesa & Daniela Costa & Parisa Kamali & Timothy J. Kehoe & Vegard M. Nygard & Gajendran Raveendranathan & Akshar Saxena, 2017. "Macroeconomic Effects of Medicare," NBER Working Papers 23389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23389
    Note: AG EFG HC HE
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    Other versions of this item:

    • Conesa, Juan Carlos & Costa, Daniela & Kamali, Parisa & Kehoe, Timothy J. & Nygard, Vegard & Raveendranathan, Gajen & Saxena, Akshar, 2017. "Macroeconomic Effects of Medicare," Staff Report 548, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Eric French, 2005. "The Effects of Health, Wealth, and Wages on Labour Supply and Retirement Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(2), pages 395-427.
    2. Borella, Margherita & De Nardi, Mariacristina & Yang, Fang, 2016. "The Aggregate Implications of Gender and Marriage," CEPR Discussion Papers 11728, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Juan C. Conesa & Carlos Garriga, 2008. "Optimal Fiscal Policy In The Design Of Social Security Reforms," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(1), pages 291-318, February.
    4. Svetlana Pashchenko & Ponpoje Porapakkarm, 2013. "Quantitative Analysis of Health Insurance Reform: Separating Regulation from Redistribution," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(3), pages 383-404, July.
    5. Krueger, Dirk & Ludwig, Alexander, 2016. "On the optimal provision of social insurance: Progressive taxation versus education subsidies in general equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 72-98.
    6. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John B. Jones, 2010. "Why Do the Elderly Save? The Role of Medical Expenses," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(1), pages 39-75, February.
    7. Jeske, Karsten & Kitao, Sagiri, 2009. "U.S. tax policy and health insurance demand: Can a regressive policy improve welfare?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 210-221, March.
    8. Michaud, Amanda M. & Nelson, Jaeger & Wiczer, David, 2016. "Vocational Considerations and Trends in Social Security Disability," Working Papers 2016-18, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    9. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2016. "Market Inefficiency, Insurance Mandate and Welfare: U.S. Health Care Reform 2010," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 20, pages 132-159, April.
    10. Ayşe İmrohoroğlu & Kai Zhao, 2017. "Intergenerational Transfers and China’s Social Security Reform," Working papers 2017-18, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    11. Amy Finkelstein, 2007. "The Aggregate Effects of Health Insurance: Evidence from the Introduction of Medicare," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 1-37.
    12. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2016. "Market Inefficiency, Insurance Mandate and Welfare: U.S. Health Care Reform 2010," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 20, pages 132-159, April.
    13. Michael G. Palumbo, 1999. "Uncertain Medical Expenses and Precautionary Saving Near the End of the Life Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(2), pages 395-421.
    14. Juan C. Conesa & Dirk Krueger, 1999. "Social Security Reform with Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(4), pages 757-795, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private

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