Sonia P. Jaffe
Department of Economics, rm 358
1126 E 59th St
Chicago, IL 60637
Institutional Affiliation: University of Chicago
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|July 2018||The Welfare Implications of Health Insurance|
with Anup Malani: w24851
We analyze the financial value of insurance when individuals have access to credit markets. Loans allow consumers to smooth shocks across time, decreasing the value of the smoothing (across states of the world) provided by insurance. We derive a simple formula for the incremental value of insurance and show how it depends on individual age, health, and income and on the features of available loans. Our central contribution is to derive formulas for aggregate welfare that can be taken to data from typical studies of health insurance. We provide both exact formulas that can be taken to data on the distribution of medical expenditures and income and an approximate formula for aggregate data on medical expenditure. Using the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey we illustrate how the incrementa...
|January 2017||Price-Linked Subsidies and Imperfect Competition in Health Insurance|
with Mark Shepard: w23104
Policymakers subsidizing health insurance often face uncertainty about future market prices. We study the implications of one policy response: linking subsidies to prices, to target a given post-subsidy premium. We show that these price-linked subsidies weaken competition, raising prices for the government and/or consumers. However, price-linking also ties subsidies to health care cost shocks, which may be desirable. Evaluating this tradeoffs empirically using a model estimated with Massachusetts insurance exchange data, we find that price-linking increases prices 1-6%, and much more in less competitive markets. For cost uncertainty reasonable in a mature market, these losses outweigh the benefits of price-linking.
|December 2016||How Does Technological Change Affect Quality-Adjusted Prices in Health Care? Systematic Evidence from Thousands of Innovations|
with Kristopher J. Hult, Tomas J. Philipson: w22986
Medical innovations have improved survival and treatment for many diseases but have simultaneously raised spending on health care. Many health economists believe that technological change is the major factor driving the growth of the heath care sector. Whether quality has increased as much as spending is a central question for both positive and normative analysis of this sector. This is a question of the impact of new innovations on quality-adjusted prices in health care. We perform a systematic analysis of the impact of technological change on quality-adjusted prices, with over six thousand comparisons of innovations to incumbent technologies. For each innovation in our dataset, we observe its price and quality, as well as the price and quality of an incumbent technology treating the same...
Published: Kristopher J. Hult & Sonia Jaffe & Tomas J. Philipson, 2018. "How Does Technological Change Affect Quality-Adjusted Prices in Health Care? Systematic Evidence from Thousands of Innovations," American Journal of Health Economics, vol 4(4), pages 433-25. citation courtesy of