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Research Highlights

Patient Cost-Sharing and Health Care Utilization in Early Childhood: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design (with Hsing-Wen Han and Hsien-Ming Lien, published in AMERICAN ECONOMIC JOURNAL-ECONOMIC POLICY)

  • Author Hsing-Wen Han
    Hsien-Ming Lien
    Tsu-Ting Yang
  • Abstract This paper estimates the price elasticity of healthcare utilization in early childhood. We employ a regression discontinuity design by exploiting a subsidy that reduces patient costsharing for children aged under 3 in Taiwan. Using longitudinal medical claims of over 410,000 children, we find a modest price elasticity of outpatient expenditure (e.g. -0.10 for regular outpatient care). Furthermore, increased cost sharing at age 3 largely decreases the chance of visiting high-intensity healthcare providers (e.g. teaching hospitals) for minor illnesses. In contrast, children’s utilization of inpatient care is price insensitive, providing a rationale for full inpatient care coverage to children.
  • Link https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/pol.20170009&&from=f(Open New Window)
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