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Home > For the Media Home > Biosketches > By Topic > Demand for Health Insurance

Biosketches - Demand for Health Insurance

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Demand for Health Insurance research looks at the factors influencing individual and household decisions to obtain health insurance to understand what makes them more or less likely to do so.
Abraham, Jean Marie
Bhattacharya, Jay
Bundorf, M. Kate
Dey, Matthew
Dushi, Irena
Flinn, Christopher
Hirth, Richard
Kimball, Miles S.
Kuttner, Hanns
McLaughlin, Catherine
Monheit, Alan C.
Nichols, Len
Pauly, Mark V.
Royalty, Anne
Shapiro, Matthew D.
Shelton, Emily
Silverman, Dan
Vistnes, Jessica
Washington, Ebonya

Jean Marie Abraham is currently an Assistant Professor of Health Economics in the Department of Healthcare Management at the University of Minnesota . Her research interests include household decision-making regarding employer-based health insurance, the impact of health insurance on labor market outcomes, consumer use of information in health care decisions, and competition in the markets for health care coverage and hospital services. In 2001, she received her Ph.D. from the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to pursuing her graduate studies, she had internships with the Office of U.S. Senator John McCain and the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Jay Bhattacharya is an assistant professor of medicine at Stanford University. Jay finished his M.D. in 1997 and was awarded his Ph.D. in 2000 on the subject of physician wages in the United States. Bhattacharya's research interests can best be summarized as the microeconometric analysis of health and health care for special populations. He has published empirical economics and health services research papers on the elderly, on adolescents, on HIV patients, on the disabled, on injured workers, and on managed care experts. Most recently, he has done work on the regulation of viatical settlements market, which is a secondary life insurance market popular among HIV patients, and on summer-winter differences in nutritional outcomes for poor American families.

Rebecca M. Blank is Dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, Henry Carter Adams Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, and Professor of Economics. She is also the co-director of the National Poverty Center at the Ford School, funded by HHS to promote poverty-related research. Prior to coming to Michigan, she served as a Member of the President's Council of Economic Advisers from 1997-1999. She has been Professor of Economics at Northwestern University and served as the first Director of the Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research. Professor Blank's research has focused on the interaction between the macroeconomy, government anti-poverty programs, and the behavior and well-being of low-income families. Her 1997 book, It Takes A Nation: A New Agenda for Fighting Poverty, won the Richard A. Lester Prize for the Outstanding Book in Labor Economics and Industrial Relations. Her more recent work includes the book Finding Jobs: Work and Welfare Reform (jointly edited with David Card, 2000, Russell Sage Press), The New World of Welfare (jointly edited with Ron Haskins, 2001, Brookings Press), and Is the Market Moral? (co-authored with William McGurn, 2003, Brookings Press). She has served in a wide variety of advisory and professional roles and is a faculty affiliate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Kate Bundorf is an Assistant Professor of Health Research and Policy at Stanford University School of Medicine She received her Ph.D. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 2000 and her MBA and MPH degrees from the University of California at Berkeley in 1996. Her research interests are in the general areas of health economics and health insurance markets. She is currently working on projects examining risk selection in health insurance markets, the effects of health insurance mandates, and the impact of health plan report cards on quality of care.

Matthew Dey received his PhD from New York University in May 2001 after completing his dissertation entitled "Employer-Provided Health Insurance: Mobility, Efficiency, and Labor Market Equilibrium." He joined the University of Chicago faculty in August of 2000.

Irena Dushi, Ph.D., is a Research Analyst at the International Longevity Center-USA. She earned her Ph.D. in economics from the Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education (CERGE) in Prague (Czech Republic) in 1998 funded by the Soros Foundation. Prior to joining the ILC in 1999, she held a research fellowship position at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Vienna (under a European Union fellowship program) and an exchange fellowship at the City University of New York. She has taught several courses in the Economics Department at Hunter College in New York.

Dr. Dushi is a labor economist with research interests in the economics of aging and health insurance. Since joining ILC, her work has been supported by the U.S. Department of Labor, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, Boston College's Steven H. Sandell Grant Program for Junior Scholars in Retirement Research, University of Michigan's Economic Research Initiative on the Uninsured (ERIU), and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Health Care Financing and Organization (HCF) Initiative. Her current work focuses on employment-related health insurance demand by dual-earner households, disparities in the use of health services and health outcomes before and after the age of Medicare eligibility, and the demand for annuities. She has published work on the demand for health insurance in the American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, and on the design of employee benefits in a book entitled Benefits for the Workplace of the Future, edited by Olivia Mitchell et al., and published by the Pension Research Council.

Christopher Flinn is Professor of Economics at New York University, a Coeditor of the Journal of Human Resources, and an Associate Editor of the European Economic Review and the Review of Economics of the Household . He is a Research Affiliate of the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Research Fellow of IZA (Bonn), a member of the Scientific Committee of CHILD at the University of Torino, and has recently been elected as President of the European Society for Population Economics (ESPE). He earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago after studying demography at the University of Michigan, and has previously taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests include labor market dynamics (especially job mobility) and intrahousehold bargaining. He is currently completing a monograph on theoretical and empirical approaches to assessing the impact of the minimum wage on labor market outcomes for the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. Other projects in progress include research on the relationship between child outcomes and the marital status of parents (with Meta Brown), the construction and estimation of a model of intrahousehold bargaining and labor market search (with Matt Dey), and the estimation of a model of household labor supply with an endogenous decision of whether to behave cooperatively (with Daniela Del Boca).

Dr. Richard Hirth is Associate Professor of Health Management and Policy, and Chairman of the Health Services Organization and Policy (HSOP) Doctoral Program. He received his Bachelor's degree in Economics from Carleton College, and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Hirth has received several research awards, including the Kenneth J. Arrow Award in Health Economics, awarded annually by the American Public Health Association and the International Health Economics Association to the best paper in health economics (1993); the Excellence in Research Award in Health Policy from the Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation (1998); and the Thompson Prize for Young Investigtors from the Association of University Programs in health Administration (1999).

Miles Kimball does research on business cycles, economic behavior under uncertainty, and the survey measurement of preference parameters. He is particularly interested in labor supply, the timing of retirement, consumption/saving choices, portfolio allocation on the household side and the effects of technology shocks on the economy as a whole.

As Senior Research Associate at The Economic Research Initiative on the Uninsured (ERIU) at the University of Michigan, Mr. Kuttner is responsible for liaison with policy audiences and works on translating research results for general audiences.

Prior to joining ERIU at its inception in 2001, Mr. Kuttner was the founding policy director of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, a research organization focused on New Hampshire issues. He also served as a staff member for the Illinois Governor's Task Force on Human Services Reform and the District of Columbia Tax Revision Commission.

Mr. Kuttner also worked at the Department of Health and Human Services' congressional liaison office as special assistant to the administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration, now known as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. During the first Bush Administration, he served as a member of the White House policy staff, responsible for health and social issues.

Mr. Kuttner received his MA from the University of Chicago's Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies.

Dr. McLaughlin is a Professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy and the Director of the Economic Research Initiative on the Uninsured (ERIU) at the University of Michigan. ERIU, a five-year initiative funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has been conducting and disseminating research aimed at increasing our understanding of the interaction between health and labor market dynamics and the uninsured. In addition, Dr. McLaughlin is the director of the University of Michigan component of the Agency for Health Care Policy Research's Center of Excellence on Managed Care Markets and Quality directed by Harold Luft at University of California, San Francisco. The projects being pursued at Michigan focus on the dynamic interaction between plan performance measures, market structure, and employer behavior.

Dr. McLaughlin is also currently the Vice-Chair of the Citizens' Health Care Working Group and a Senior Associate Editor of Health Services Research. From 1993 to 2003 she was the Director of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Scholars in Health Policy Research Program at Michigan. Her current research interests are focused on the uninsured, managed care, market competition, and employer and employee benefit choice.

Dr. McLaughlin has studied various health economics topics. She has published numerous articles on the impact of HMOs on market competition and health care costs, the determinants of small area variation in hospital utilization and costs, and issues surrounding the working uninsured. Recent publications include: “The Long-Term and Short-Term Effects of a Copayment Increase on the Utilization and Expenditures of Prescription Drugs,” in Inquiry, “Donated Care Programs: A Stopgap Measure or a Long-Run Alternative to Health Insurance?” in Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, “Quality and Employers' Choice of Health Plans,” in Journal of Health Economics, "Causes and Consequences of Lack of Health Insurance: Gaps in Our Knowledge," in Health Policy and the Uninsured , Urban Institute Press; "Who Walks Through the Door? The Effect of the Uninsured" in Health Affairs; "Medigap Premiums and Medicare HMO Enrollment" in Health Services Research; "The Who, What, and How of Managed Care," The Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law; "Health Care Consumers: Choices and Constraints" in Medical Care Research and Review, "Competition, Quality of Care, and The Role of Consumers," in The Milbank Quarterly, and "The Demand for Health Insurance Coverage by Low-Income Workers: Can Reduced Premiums Achieve Full Coverage?," in Health Services Research.

Professor McLaughlin received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin.

Alan C. Monheit is Professor, School of Public Health, Department of Health Systems and Policy, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He is also a Research Professor at the UMDNJ Center for Health Economics and Health Policy and at Rutgers University’s Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research and its Center for State Health Policy. He has held research positions at the Boston University's Health Policy Institute and School of Medicine and was also Director of the Division of Social and Economic Research in the Center for Cost and Financing Studies, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Dr. Monheit's research interests include the relationship between employment and health insurance, health insurance dynamics, the uninsured population, the distribution of health care expenditures, regulation of health insurance markets, and children's access to health care. He is an editor and contributor to Informing American Health Care Policy: The Dynamics of Medical Expenditure and Insurance Surveys, 1987 - 1996 and State Insurance Market Reform: Toward Inclusive and Sustainable Health Insurance Markets. Dr. Monheit received the first Administrator's Award for Health Services Research from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and is a Fellow of the Employee Benefit Research Institute and a member of the National Academy of Social insurance.

Len Nichols is the Director of the Health Policy Program at the New America Foundation in Washington D.C. He is responsible for shaping the Foundation's approach to health care policy, focused on expanding health insurance coverage to all Americans while reigning in costs and improving the efficiency of the overall health care system. Prior to joining New America, Dr. Nichols was the Vice President of the Center for Studying Health Systems Change. He has also been a Principal Research Associate at The Urban Institute, and the Senior Advisor for Health Policy at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) during the Clinton Health Reform efforts of 1993-1994. Prior to OMB, Dr. Nichols was a visiting Public Health Service Fellow at the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research during 1991-1992, and prior to that he was an Associate Professor and Economics Chair at Wellesley College, where he taught from 1980-1991. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Illinois in 1980.

Mark V. Pauly currently holds the position of Bendheim Professor in the Department of Health Care Systems at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He received the Ph.D. in economics from the University of Virginia. He is Professor of Health Care Systems, Insurance and Risk Management and Business and Public Policy, at the Wharton School and Professor of Economics, in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Pauly is a former commissioner on the Physician Payment Review Commission and an active member of the Institute of Medicine. One of the nation’s leading health economists, Dr. Pauly has made significant contributions to the fields of medical economics and health insurance. His classic study on the economics of moral hazard was the first to point out how health insurance coverage may affect patients’ use of medical services. Subsequent work, both theoretical and empirical, has explored the impact of conventional insurance coverage on preventive care, on outpatient care, and on prescription drug use in managed care. He is currently studying the effect of poor health on worker productivity. In addition, he has explored the influences that determine whether insurance coverage is available and, through several cost effectiveness studies, the influence of medical care and health practices on health outcomes and cost. His interests in health policy deal with ways to reduce the number of uninsured through tax credits for public and private insurance, and appropriate design for Medicare in a budget-constrained environment. Dr. Pauly is a co-editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics and an associate editor of the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty. He has served on Institute of Medicine panels on public accountability for health insurers under Medicare and on improving the supply of vaccines.

Anne Royalty is currently an Associate Professor of Economics at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Prior to coming to IUPUI, she was an Assistant Professor of Economics at Stanford University. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University and her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Professor Royalty's current research focuses on employer-provided health insurance and other fringe benefits. Recent work includes analyses of price elasticities for employer-provided health insurance, estimation of workers' valuation of employer expenditures on health insurance benefits, and investigations of health insurance choices of two-earner households.

Matthew D. Shapiro is Lawrence R. Klein Collegiate Professor and Chair of Economics and Research Professor in the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan. He is also a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Shapiro received B.A. and M.A. degrees from Yale in 1979 and a Ph.D. from M.I.T. in 1984. Shapiro’s general area of research is macroeconomics. He has carried out projects on investment and capital utilization, business-cycle fluctuations, consumption and saving, financial markets, fiscal policy, monetary policy, time-series econometrics, and survey research. Among his current research interests are assessing how recent changes in tax policy affect investment, employment, and output, modeling saving, retirement, and portfolio choices of households, improving the quality of national economic statistics, and using surveys to address questions in macroeconomics.

Emily Shelton is a Ph.D. student in the University of Michigan Department of Health Management and Policy. She earned a B.A. from the University of Iowa and worked for 2 years in the health and human resources division at the Congressional Budget Office. Her research topics include the demand for medical care and health insurance, including labor market sorting and Medicare hospital reimbursement policy. Next year, she will advance to candidacy.

Dan Silverman is Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Michigan . He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in the Spring of 2002. Dr. Silverman's research interests bridge public and labor economics. He has authored papers on the effects of welfare reform on labor supply, the economics of violent crime, and the potential social sources of income disparities. Recent work investigates the influence of cognitive biases on the decision to invest in health insurance and healthy activities.

Jessica Vistnes is a Senior Economist in the Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Her research focuses on Employment-related health insurance coverage, the health insurance status of the U.S. population, the demand for Medigap insurance, and children's health care utilization. Her publications have appeared in Health Affairs, the Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Inquiry, the International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics, the Journal of Human Resources, the National Tax Journal, Medical Care and Medical Care Research and Review. She joined AHRQ in 1989 after receiving a Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University.

Ebonya Washington is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Yale University. Her current research interests include public finance and political economy. Dr. Washington received her Ph.D. in Economics from MIT.