Affordable False Teeth: The Effects of Patient Cost Sharing on Denture Utilization and Subjective Chewing Ability
The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy (Contributions), Volume 16, Issue 3, 1387–1438, 2016.
52 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2015 Last revised: 27 Oct 2016
Date Written: March 24, 2016
We evaluate the impact of patient cost sharing on the use of dentures and subjective chewing ability exploiting a sharp reduction in the coinsurance rate, the percentage of costs born by the user, from 30% to 10% at the age of 70 with a regression discontinuity design. Using data from the Japanese Study of Aging and Retirement (JSTAR), we find that the utilization rate of dentures increases from approximately 50% to 63% around the threshold, implying that the extensive margin elasticity of denture usage with respect to the coinsurance rate is about -0.41. In addition, we find this jump is almost entirely due to the change in the rate among women. On the other hand, we do not find a significant improvement in self-reported chewing ability, although chewing ability may not be the only social benfit from dentures. Our empirical findings are also confirmed by complementary analysis with randomization tests and placebo randomization tests.
Keywords: Oral health, dentures, price elasticity, regression discontinuity design, cost sharing, randomization test
JEL Classification: G51, H13, H15
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation