Christelis, Dimitris Georgarakos, Dimitris Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna
Year of Publication:
IZA Discussion Papers 8635
Using data from the US Health and Retirement Study, we study the causal effect of increased health insurance coverage through Medicare and the associated reduction in health-related background risk on financial risk-taking. Given the onset of Medicare at age 65, we identify our effect of interest using a regression discontinuity approach. We find that getting Medicare coverage induces stockholding for those with at least some college education, but not for their less-educated counterparts. Hence, our results indicate that a reduction in background risk induces financial risk-taking in individuals for whom informational and pecuniary stock market participation costs are relatively low.
health insurance Medicare stockholding regression discontinuity household finance