AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 2, June 2008

The Bulletin on Aging & Health

Individuals are increasingly responsible for making decisions that determine their financial security in retirement. With the shift in private pensions from defined benefit to defined contribution (401(k)-style) plans, most workers must now decide whether and how much to contribute to their pension plan, how to invest fund balances, and how to draw down funds after retirement. Moreover, the array and complexity of financial products offered to individuals for their...

Research Summaries

Article
Choice in health insurance markets is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, economic theory suggests that when there are more competing plans, prices will be lower and the market will be more efficient. Further, if insurers are able to offer different benefit packages, having more plans to choose from may allow consumers to select one that better matches their preferences. On the other hand, as the number of choices increases, consumers may become overwhelmed and have more...
Article
The U.S. spends far more on health care than other developed countries - 16 percent of GDP in 2007 - yet health outcomes in the U.S. are no better than those in other countries. There is increasing interest among U.S. policy makers and health care researchers in finding methods to improve the quality and value of health care services. One means of improving quality and value is to structure payments to hospitals and doctors so as to reward them financially for providing...

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