Get access

Willingness-to-pay for parallel private health insurance: evidence from a laboratory experiment

Authors


  • Hurley is also affiliated with the Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis, McMaster University; Cameron is also affiliated with the Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis, McMaster University. We acknowledge helpful comments from two anonymous referees, Andrew Muller, Michel Grignon, and other members of the New and Emerging Team project on experimental methods applied to health economics at McMaster University. In particular we would like to acknowledge Dale Marsden and Aleksandra Gajic for research support and Stuart Mestelman for valuable input on the paper, especially section 5. We would also like to thank conference participants from the 2009 Canadian Economics Association meetings and seminar participants from University of Innsbruck, Social Science Research Centre Berlin, University of Regensburg, and York University for helpful comments. This research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Grant No. 76670). The views expressed are those of the authors alone. Email: nbuckley@yorku.ca

Abstract

Abstract Debate over the effects of public versus private health care finance persists in both academic and policy circles. This paper presents the results of a revealed preference laboratory experiment that tests how characteristics of the public health system affect a subject's willingness-to-pay (WTP) for parallel private health insurance. Consistent with the theoretical predictions of Cuff et al. (2010), subjects’ average WTP is lower and the size of the private insurance sector smaller when the public system allocates health care based on need rather than randomly and when the probability of receiving health care from the public system is high.

Abstract

Les débats continuent quant aux effets comparés du financement privé et public des soins de santéà la fois dans le monde académique et le monde des définisseurs de politiques. Ce mémoire présente les résultats d’une expérience de laboratoire destinée à révéler les préférences et à montrer comment des caractéristiques du système public de soins de santé affectent la volonté de payer pour des services parallèles d’assurance santé privée. En ligne avec les prédictions théoriques de Cuff et al. (2010), la volonté moyenne de payer est plus faible et la taille du secteur de l’assurance privée plus petite quand le régime public est fondé sur les besoins plutôt qu’aléatoire, et quand la probabilité de recevoir les soins du régime public est élevée.

Ancillary