IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Waiting Times and Cost Sharing for a Public Health Care Service with a Private Alternative: A Multi-agent Approach

Listed author(s):
  • Vincenzo Rebba


    (Department of Economic Sciences, University Of Padova)

  • Dino Rizzi


    (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Ca� Foscari)

Cost sharing represent a well-established tool for the control of health care demand in many Oecd countries, even though it is used with caution, and in combination with other instruments, in order to avoid potential negative impacts on access to essential health care services. Waiting lists and waiting times represent an alternative (and implicit) way to control demand in public health care systems, even though rationing by waiting may be an inferior solution to cost-sharing in terms of welfare. This paper focuses on the use of waiting times, cost-sharing, and other tools (in particular, priority and appropriateness criteria) in order to control demand for a public outpatient health service in presence of a fully paid out-of-pocket private alternative. We develop an agent-based model where heterogeneous agents maximise their individual utility based on income and health status. On this basis, we develop some computational experiments based on micro-simulations that offer some useful insights for health care policy. In particular, we show that: i) the presence of a private alternative to public treatment can improve social welfare and health equity in a NHS, when public supply is constrained by a fixed budget and longer waiting times than the private one; ii) using prioritisation of waiting lists without any copayment to control the demand for public treatment may produce high performances in terms of social welfare, health equality and policy efficiency; iii) applying a moderate copayment rate as a tool to control public demand could determine the same policy efficiency of using only priority lists, if the copayment revenues are used to fund the public provision.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari" in its series Working Papers with number 2011_18.

in new window

Length: 40
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Handle: RePEc:ven:wpaper:2011_18
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Cannaregio, S. Giobbe no 873 , 30121 Venezia

Phone: +39-0412349621
Fax: +39-0412349176
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

in new window

  1. Gravelle, Hugh & Siciliani, Luigi, 2008. "Optimal quality, waits and charges in health insurance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 663-674, May.
  2. Carol Propper, 1995. "The Disutility of Time Spent on the United Kingdom's National Health Service Waiting Lists," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(4), pages 677-700.
  3. Acton, Jan Paul, 1975. "Nonmonetary Factors in the Demand for Medical Services: Some Empirical Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(3), pages 595-614, June.
  4. Felder, Stefan, 2008. "To wait or to pay for medical treatment? Restraining ex-post moral hazard in health insurance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1418-1422, December.
  5. Iversen, Tor, 1997. "The effect of a private sector on the waiting time in a national health service," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 381-396, August.
  6. Luigi Siciliani, 2008. "A note on the dynamic interaction between waiting times and waiting lists," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(5), pages 639-647.
  7. Pauly, Mark V. & Blavin, Fredric E., 2008. "Moral hazard in insurance, value-based cost sharing, and the benefits of blissful ignorance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1407-1417, December.
  8. Farnworth, Michael G., 2003. "A game theoretic model of the relationship between prices and waiting times," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 47-60, January.
  9. Gilberto Muraro & Vincenzo Rebba, 2010. "Individual Rights and Duties in Health Policy," Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, vol. 118(3), pages 379-396.
  10. Martin, Stephen & Smith, Peter C., 1999. "Rationing by waiting lists: an empirical investigation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 141-164, January.
  11. Mullen, Penelope M., 2003. "Prioritising waiting lists: how and why?," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 150(1), pages 32-45, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ven:wpaper:2011_18. 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: (Geraldine Ludbrook)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.