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Private Medical Insurance and Saving: Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey


  • Alessandra Guariglia

    () (University of Kent, Canterbury)

  • Mariacristina Rossi

    () (University of Rome II - Faculty of Economics)


This paper uses the British Household Panel Survey for the years 1996 to 2000 to investigate whether individuals in the UK save for precautionary motives against uncertain medical costs. In particular, we test the hypothesis that those individuals who are not covered by private medical insurance, and who are therefore more exposed to facing unexpected health care expenditures or loss of income while waiting for treatment, tend to save more than those who are covered. According to our findings, which are based on a wide range of econometric specifications, there is a positive association between insurance coverage and saving, suggesting that private medical insurance does not crowd out private saving. This relationship is however weaker in areas where people feel the quality of medical facilities to be poor and in rural areas.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandra Guariglia & Mariacristina Rossi, 2003. "Private Medical Insurance and Saving: Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," CEIS Research Paper 39, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.
  • Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:39

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Wagstaff, Adam & Pradhan, Menno, 2005. "Health insurance impacts on health and nonmedical consumption in a developing country," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3563, The World Bank.
    2. Sergey MALAKHOV, 2014. "Willingness to Overpay for Insurance and for Consumer Credit: Search and Risk Behavior Under Price Dispersion," Expert Journal of Economics, Sprint Investify, vol. 2(3), pages 109-119.
    3. Trinh Le, 2007. "Does New Zealand have a household saving crisis?," Macroeconomics Working Papers 23081, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    4. Bai, Chong-En & Wu, Binzhen, 2014. "Health insurance and consumption: Evidence from China’s New Cooperative Medical Scheme," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 450-469.
    5. Asako OHINATA & Matteo PICCHIO, 2015. "The Financial Support for Long-Term Elderly Care and Household Savings Behaviour," Working Papers 411, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
    6. Chung-Ming Kuan & Chien-Liang Chen, 2013. "Effects of National Health Insurance on precautionary saving: new evidence from Taiwan," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 921-943, April.
    7. Minchung Hsu, 2013. "Health Insurance and Precautionary Saving: A Structural Analysis," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(3), pages 511-526, July.
    8. Clark, Robert L. & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2014. "How does retiree health insurance influence public sector employee saving?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 109-118.
    9. Sarah Brown & Pulak Ghosh & Bhuvanesh Pareek & Karl Taylor, 2017. "Financial Hardship and Saving Behaviour: Bayesian Analysis of British Panel Data," Working Papers 2017011, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
    10. Loretti I. Dobrescu, 2015. "To Love or to Pay: Savings and Health Care in Older Age," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(1), pages 254-299.
    11. Hsu, Minchung, 2008. "Health Insurance, the Social Welfare System and Household Saving," MPRA Paper 21281, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2010.
    12. Lee, Daeyong, 2016. "Effects of dependent coverage mandate on household precautionary savings: Evidence from the 2010 Affordable Care Act," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 32-37.

    More about this item


    precautionary saving; private medical insurance;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health


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