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Keywords:

  • dental insurance;
  • dental care;
  • treatment effect;
  • selection;
  • classification errors;
  • partial identification

ABSTRACT

We evaluate the impact of dental insurance on the use of dental services using a potential outcomes identification framework designed to handle uncertainty created by unknown counterfactuals—that is, the endogenous selection problem—and uncertainty about the reliability of self-reported insurance status. Using data from the health and retirement study, we estimate that utilization rates of adults older than 50 years would increase from 75% to around 80% under universal dental coverage. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.