Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance,
Stockholm School of Economics

No 192: Time Spent on Waiting Lists for Medical Care: An Insurance Approach

Magnus Johannesson (), Per-Olov Johansson () and Tore Söderqvist
Additional contact information
Magnus Johannesson: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, S-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Per-Olov Johansson: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, S-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Tore Söderqvist: The Beijer Institute, Postal: The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Box 50005, S-104 05 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: In this paper, we develop a simple model of the benefits and costs of being on a waiting list. The model shows that complex factors are in operation, implying that a shorter waiting time need not necessarily be preferred to a longer waiting time. We also present an empirical study, where a sample of Swedes are offered the possibility of purchasing private insurance, thus reducing waiting time for surgery beyond the three-month guarantee offered by the public sector health care system. Respondents could choose between two insurance contracts. A 'spike' model, where the probability of a zero WTP is strictly positive, was developed and estimated to obtain demand functions for private insurance.

Keywords: Insurance; waiting lists; willingness to pay; demand functions for insurance; spike models.

JEL-codes: D61; I10; I11

28 pages, September 5, 1997

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