NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Marika Cabral

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

Working Papers and Chapters

September 2014Does Privatized Health Insurance Benefit Patients or Producers? Evidence from Medicare Advantage
with Michael Geruso, Neale Mahoney: w20470
The debate over privatizing Medicare stems from a fundamental disagreement about whether privatization would primarily generate consumer surplus for individuals or producer surplus for insurance companies and health care providers. This paper investigates this question by studying an existing form of privatized Medicare called Medicare Advantage (MA). Using difference-indifferences variation brought about by payment floors established by the 2000 Benefits Improvement and Protection Act, we find that for each dollar in increased capitation payments, MA insurers reduced premiums to individuals by 45 cents and increased the actuarial value of benefits by 8 cents. Using administrative data on the near-universe of Medicare beneficiaries, we show that advantageous selection into MA cannot explai...
January 2014Externalities and Taxation of Supplemental Insurance: A Study of Medicare and Medigap
with Neale Mahoney: w19787
Most health insurance uses cost-sharing to reduce excess utilization. Supplemental insurance can blunt the impact of this cost-sharing, increasing utilization and exerting a negative externality on the primary insurer. This paper estimates the effect of private Medigap supplemental insurance on public Medicare spending using Medigap premium discontinuities in local medical markets that span state boundaries. Using administrative data on the universe of Medicare beneficiaries, we estimate that Medigap increases an individual’s Medicare spending by 22.2%. We calculate that a 15% tax on Medigap premiums generates savings of $12.9 billion annually. A Pigouvian tax generates annual savings of $31.6 billion.
November 2012The Hated Property Tax: Salience, Tax Rates, and Tax Revolts
with Caroline Hoxby: w18514
Because of the obtrusive manner in which they are normally paid, property taxes are likely the most salient taxes in the U.S. However, they are much less salient to homeowners with tax escrow. Exploiting geographical variation in tax escrow, we test how salience affects property tax rates and limits. We instrument for tax escrow using bank holding companies' national mortgage servicing assets, focusing on companies that have local branches but do most of their business outside the area. We find that a one standard deviation increase in tax escrow produces about a one standard deviation decrease in property tax rates.

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

 
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