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Sastry's 10-year study of New Orleans Katrina evacuees shows demographic differences between returning and nonreturning

Stafford says less educated, smaller investors more likely to sell off stock and lock in losses during market downturn

Chen says job fit, job happiness can be achieved over time

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Deirdre Bloome wins ASA award for work on racial inequality and intergenerational transmission

Bob Willis awarded 2015 Jacob Mincer Award for Lifetime Contributions to the Field of Labor Economics

David Lam is new director of Institute for Social Research

Elizabeth Bruch wins Robert Merton Prize for paper in analytic sociology

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Oct 12
Joe Grengs, Policy & Planning for Social Equity in Transportation

psc brown bag iconHealth Insurance, Utilization and Mortality: Evidence from Medicare's Origins

Kenneth Chay (Department of Economics and Community Health, Brown University)

11/07/2011, at noon in room 6050 ISR-Thompson.

We examine Medicare’s impact on hospital insurance, utilization and mortality rates. The analysis applies an “age discontinuity” design to data both before and after Medicare’s introduction. We find that Medicare: i) increased hospital utilization and costs among the elderly, but at a lower rate than previously found; and ii) significantly increased life expectancy in the eligible population. The mortality reductions exhibit an age discontinuity only after Medicare's introduction – patterns not found in nations that did not introduce a Medicare-style program in the 1960’s – with deaths due to heart disease and stroke accounting for most of these reductions. We estimate that Medicare’s introduction had a cost-per-life year ratio below $200 (in 1982-84 dollars). We also analyze changes over time in Medicare’s impact and the characteristics of the "marginal" person who benefited from coverage. We find that the age-65 discontinuity in insurance rates fell over time, more so for blacks, the less-educated, poor and disabled; and that Medicare’s salience rises in recessions. We present evidence that the benefit-cost ratios of Medicare fell during the 1980s, partly due to changes in Medicare’s reimbursement formula.


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