NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Fredric E. Blavin

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Working Papers and Chapters

October 2013Comment on "The Distribution of Public Spending for Health Care in the United States in 2010"
in Measuring and Modeling Health Care Costs, Ana Aizcorbe, Colin Baker, Ernst Berndt, and David Cutler, editors
June 2008Is There a Market for Voluntary Health Insurance in Developing Countries?
with Mark Pauly, Sudha Meghan: w14095
In many developing countries the proportion of health care spending paid out of pocket is about half of all spending or more. This study examines the distribution of such spending by income and care type, and the variation in spending about its expected value, in order to see whether voluntary private health insurance that reduces variation in spending might be able to be supplied. Using data from the World Health Survey for 14 developing countries, we find that out of pocket spending varies by income but that most spending usually occurs in income quintiles below the topmost quintile. We use estimates of the variance of total spending, hospital spending, physician spending, and outpatient drug spending about their means to generate estimates of the risk premia risk averse consumers migh...
April 2007Value Based Cost Sharing Meets the Theory of Moral Hazard: Medical Effectiveness in Insurance Benefits Design
with Mark V. Pauly: w13044
The conventional theory of optimal coinsurance rates in health insurance in the presence of moral hazard indicates that, in situations of equal risk characteristics, coinsurance should vary if the price-responsiveness or price-elasticity of demand for different medical services varies, and should be larger for the more price responsive services. An alternative theory called "value-based cost sharing" indicates that coinsurance should be lower for services with higher (marginal) benefits relative to costs. This paper reconciles the two views. It shows that, if patient demands are based on correct information on benefits and costs, the conclusion of the conventional view is identical to the conclusion from the value-based approach. If patient demands differ from correct demands, it is sho...

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