NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Daniel Prinz

National Bureau of Economic Research
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138

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Institutional Affiliation: Harvard University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2019Private vs. Public Provision of Social Insurance: Evidence from Medicaid
with Timothy J. Layton, Nicole Maestas, Boris Vabson: w26042
Public health insurance benefits in the U.S. are increasingly provided by private firms, despite mixed evidence on welfare effects. We investigate the impact of privatization in Medicaid by exploiting the staggered introduction of county-level mandates in Texas that required disabled beneficiaries to switch from public to private plans. Compared to the public program, which used blunt rationing to control costs, we find privatization led to improvements in healthcare—including increased consumption of high-value drug treatments and fewer avoidable hospitalizations—but also higher Medicaid spending. We conclude that private provision can be beneficial when constraints in the public setting limit efficiency.
July 2018Health and Economic Activity Over the Lifecycle: Literature Review
with Michael Chernew, David Cutler, Austin Frakt: w24865
We systematically review the literature linking health to economic activity, particularly education and labor market outcomes, over the lifecycle. In the first part, we review studies that link childhood health to later-life outcomes. The main themes we focus on are in-utero exposures, birthweight, physical health and nutrition, mental health, and the environment. In the second part, we review studies of the impact of health on labor market success for adults. The main themes we focus on are the environment, disability, physical health shocks, within-household spillovers, cancer, and mental health.
November 2016Screening in Contract Design: Evidence from the ACA Health Insurance Exchanges
with Michael Geruso, Timothy J. Layton: w22832
We study insurers’ use of prescription drug formularies to screen consumers in the ACA Health Insurance Exchanges. We begin by showing that Exchange risk adjustment and reinsurance succeed in neutralizing selection incentives for most, but not all, consumer types. A minority of consumers, identifiable by demand for particular classes of prescription drugs, are predictably unprofitable. We then show that contract features relating to these drugs are distorted in a manner consistent with multi-dimensional screening. The empirical findings support a long theoretical literature examining how insurance contracts offered in equilibrium can fail to optimally trade-off risk protection and moral hazard.

Published: Michael Geruso & Timothy Layton & Daniel Prinz, 2019. "Screening in Contract Design: Evidence from the ACA Health Insurance Exchanges," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, vol 11(2), pages 64-107. citation courtesy of

 
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