Home > Events & News > Brown Bag Schedule . Archive

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Frey and colleagues outline 10 trends showing scale of America's demographic transitions

Starr says surveys intended to predict recidivism assign higher risk to poor

Prescott and colleagues find incidence of noncompetes in U.S. labor force varies by job, state, worker education


PAA 2015 Annual Meeting: Preliminary program and list of UM participants

ISR addition wins LEED Gold Certification

PSC Fall 2014 Newsletter now available

Martha Bailey and Nicolas Duquette win Cole Prize for article on War on Poverty

Next Brown Bag

Mon, March 9
Luigi Pistaferri, Consumption Inequality and Family Labor Supply

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.

  View All