Beiträge zur Jahrestagung des Vereins für Socialpolitik 2013: Wettbewerbspolitik und Regulierung in einer globalen Wirtschaftsordnung - Session: Public Economics: Theory F06-V3
We examine subsidies for health care when consumers have present-biased preferences, which lead them to underestimate the effect of today s consumption on future health. We compare immediate subsidies paid for health-conscious consumption and future subsidies rewarding a good health outcome. We show that, while both policies can implement the first best choice, doing so by future subsidies results in higher costs for the government. This arises since the individual anticipates that, from today s perspective, she will make biased use of future subsidies. Hence, in order to create the same incentive effect, a future subsidy must be higher in present value terms.