Optimal Health Insurance and Provider Payment

How does one design an optimal insurance policy where physicians and patients are compelled to tell the truth about the medical procedures that were completed?  This is the question of Ching-To Albert Ma and Thomas McGuire in their 1997 AER paper.  The paper is somewhat technical but I will briefly explain their setup and conclusions,…

Health Wonk Review #11 Submissions

Do you need more exposure for your health policy blog?  Do you have valuable insights on health policy that you believe the public needs to hear?  If so, here is the perfect avenue for you… Healthcare Economist will be the host the Health Wonk Review #11.  The Health Wonk Review is “the best of the best”: the best blog…

Speed Surgery

Productivity.  More output with fewer inputs.  Increasing productivity is one of the few goals towards which all businesses strive.  The Times of London reports (“Rankings to identify slow surgeons“) that the NHS will try to increase the productivity of surgeons in the UK.  The system of “performance indicatorsâ€? will be announced this week by ministers,…

Social Security Around the World XI: Measuring Benefits

Throughout the past week, I have spoke of the work disincentives many social security programs create.  The question is: how do we measure these disincentives.  The economics literature has given three different metrics to measure implicit social security wealth a retiree has and I will discuss each in turn. Accrual The accrual method measures how much…

Social Security Around the World X: UK

The public pension system in the United Kingdom differs significantly from its peers in continental Europe.  First, private and occupational pensions play a much larger role in retirement than in the rest of Europe.  Secondly, UK projects that public pension savings will actually decrease as a percentage of GDP (from 4.5% in 2000 to 4.1%…

Social Security Around the World IX: Spain

For the average Spaniard, going into retirement means collecting a public pension and nothing else.  In 1990 less than 5% of the employed population had a private pension; while this figure has risen to 30% in 1999, still less than 1% of the population derives more than 10% of their retirement consumption needs from private…

Social Security Around the World VIII: Netherlands

While France, Germany and Italy struggle to reform their gigantic old-age pension system, in the Netherlands the problems are not nearly as acute.  The Dutch have a Social Security system, but it is not as large as in the countries to its south.  A large portion of the a Dutch individual’s pension comes from their employer;…

Social Security Around the World VII: Japan

Japan is an incredible success story.  After so much suffering in World War II, this country now has the second largest economy in the world and the longest life expectancy of any country in the OECD. This success however, may become a fiscal nightmare in the future. In 1998, 16.2% of the Japanese population was…