The Economics of Hospital Trips and Health Care Reform

Institute for the Study of Labor Discussion Paper No. 22

41 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2000

See all articles by Klaus F. Zimmermann

Klaus F. Zimmermann

Global Labor Organization (GLO); UNU-MERIT; Maastricht University, Department of Economics; Free University Berlin; University of Bonn; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Journal of Population Economics

Ralph Rotte

RWTH Aachen University - Institute for Political Science; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Andreas Million

University of Munich

Date Written: September 1998

Abstract

One cornerstone of current attempts to reform the German public health care system by introducing private insurance schemes is the assumption that economic incentives play an important role in individual decision-making about using medical help. This hypothesis is examined for the case of demand for hospital care which covers the largest part of public insurance expenditures. The paper applies various methods for count data analysis of the frequency of hospital trips. Contrary to comparative studies for other countries, we find that there is no significant impact of insurance schemes on hospitalization. Therefore, the current efforts to reduce expenditures by relying on consumer behaviour are unlikely to work.

JEL Classification: I11, I12, I18

Suggested Citation

Zimmermann, Klaus F. and Rotte, Ralph and Million, Andreas, The Economics of Hospital Trips and Health Care Reform (September 1998). Institute for the Study of Labor Discussion Paper No. 22, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=166554 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.166554

Klaus F. Zimmermann (Contact Author)

Global Labor Organization (GLO) ( email )

Bonn
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UNU-MERIT ( email )

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University of Bonn

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Journal of Population Economics

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Ralph Rotte

RWTH Aachen University - Institute for Political Science ( email )

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Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Andreas Million

University of Munich

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Munich 80539
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