The Demand for Private Health Insurance: Do Waiting Lists Matter?” – Revisited
Besley, Hall and Preston (JPubEc, 1999) investigate how waiting for medical treatment in public hospitals influences the decision to buy private health insurance, which covers faster private treatment. They find sizable positive impacts which have subsequently been influential on waiting lists management policies. This paper re-examines this result, in particular the sensitivity to the use of waiting lists as a proxy for waiting times. It is found that waiting lists do not predict private health insurance demand, and that the impact of waiting time in motivating the purchase of insurance has been overstated.
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