NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

David Baker

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2003The Effects of Private Insurance on Measures of Health: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study
with Avi Dor, Joseph Sudano: w9774
In this paper we investigate whether the presence of private insurance leads to improved health status. Using the Health and Retirement study we focus on adults in late middle age who are nearing entry into Medicare. Estimation addresses endogeneity of the insurance participation decision in health outcome regressions. Two models are tested, an instrumental variables models, and a model with endogenous treatment effects due to Heckman (1978). Insurance participation and health behaviors enter with a lag to allow their effects to dissipate over time. Separate regressions were run for groupings of chronic conditions. We find that the overall impact of insurance on health tends to be significantly downwards biased if no adjustment for endogeneity is made. With corrections there is a four-fold...
 
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