CDHA CAAR

May 28, 2013

CAAR – National Bureau of Economic Research Working Papers – May 28, 2013

Filed under: Working Papers — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 4:24 pm

A. “Effects of Social Security Policies on Benefit Claiming, Retirement and Saving,” by Alan L. Gustman and Thomas L. Steinmeier (w19071, May 2013, .pdf format, 40p.).

Abstract:

An enhanced version of a structural model jointly explains benefit claiming, wealth and retirement, including reversals from states of lesser to greater work. The model includes stochastic returns on assets. Estimated with Health and Retirement Study data, it does a better job of predicting claiming than previous versions. Alternative beliefs about the future of Social Security affect predicted outcomes. Effects of three potential policies are also examined: increasing the early entitlement age, increasing the full retirement age, and eliminating the payroll tax for seniors. Predicted responses to increasing the full entitlement age are sensitive to beliefs.

www.nber.org/papers/w19071

B. “The Spillover Effects of Medicare Managed Care: Medicare Advantage and Hospital Utilization,” by Katherine Baicker, Michael Chernew, and Jacob Robbins (w19070, May 2013, .pdf format, 39p.).

Abstract:

More than a quarter of Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare Advantage, which was created in large part to improve the efficiency of health care delivery by promoting competition among private managed care plans. This paper explores the spillover effects of the Medicare Advantage program on the traditional Medicare program and other patients, taking advantage of changes in Medicare Advantage payment policy to isolate exogenous increases in Medicare Advantage enrollment and trace out the effects of greater managed care penetration on hospital utilization and spending throughout the health care system. We find that when more seniors enroll in Medicare managed care, hospital costs decline for all seniors and for commercially insured younger populations. Greater managed care penetration is not associated with fewer hospitalizations, but is associated with lower costs and shorter stays per hospitalization. These spillovers are substantial – offsetting more than 10% of increased payments to Medicare Advantage plans.

www.nber.org/papers/w19070

C. “Framing Lifetime Income,” by Jeffrey R. Brown, Jeffrey R. Kling, Sendhil Mullainathan, and Marian V. Wrobel (w19063, May 2013, .pdf format, 22p.).

Abstract:

We provide evidence that individuals optimize imperfectly when making annuity decisions, and this result is not driven by loss aversion. Life annuities are more attractive when presented in a consumption frame than in an investment frame. Highlighting the purchase price in the consumption frame does not alter this result. The level of habitual spending has little interaction with preferences for annuities in the consumption frame. In an investment frame, consumers prefer annuities with principal guarantees; this result is similar for guarantee amounts below, at, and above the purchase price. We discuss implications for the retirement services industry and its regulators.

www.nber.org/papers/w19063

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