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October 25, 2013

Major new study on health insurance by NU Law scholars

by Dan Rodriguez

Here is the abstract of their paper:

The Effect of Health Insurance on Near-Elderly Health and Mortality


Bernard S. Black 

Northwestern University – School of Law ; Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management ; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) 

José-Antonio Espín-Sánchez 

Northwestern University, Department of Economics 

Eric French 

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago 

Kate Litvak 

Northwestern University – School of Law

October 16, 2013

Northwestern Law & Econ Research Paper 12-09


We use the best available longitudinal dataset, the Health and Retirement Survey, and a battery of causal inference methods to provide both central estimates and bounds on the effect of health insurance on health and mortality among the near elderly (initial age 50-61) over an 18-year period. Those uninsured in 1992 consume fewer healthcare services, but are not less healthy and, in our central estimates, do not die sooner than their insured counterparts. We discuss why a zero average effect of uninsurance on mortality and health is plausible, some selection effects that might explain our full results, and methodological concerns with prior studies.

Here is the link to the paper:


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