Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Bolhaar, Jonneke
van der Klaauw, Bas
Lindeboom, Maarten
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 10-072/3
This paper looks into the search behavior of consumers in the market for health insurance contracts. We consider the recent health insurance reform in The Netherlands, where a private-public mix of insurance provision was replaced by a system based on managed competition. Although all insurers offer the same basic package (determined by the government), there is substantial premium dispersion. We develop a simple consumer search model containing the main features of the Dutch health insurance system. This model provides us with a number of hypotheses, which we test using data from the Dutch Health Care Consumer Panel. The data confirm the standard predictions on consumer choice (i.e. there is adverse selection and a lower premium increases coverage). We also find that consumers with lower search costs are more likely to receive a group contract offer. This generates a situation of price discrimination where individuals without group contracts and higher s! earch costs pay higher premiums and buy lower insurance coverage.
health insurance
consumer search behavior
Dutch health insurance reform
Document Type: 
Working Paper

Files in This Item:
269.64 kB

Items in EconStor are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.