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Tuesday, August 3 • 9:00am - 10:30am
3E1 Estimating the Consumption Smoothing Effect of Health Insurance

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Yugang Ding, School of Economics Peking University; Lizhen Wang, Central University of Finance and Economics; Lin Tang, The University of Hong Kong; Hua Chen, School of Insurance, Central University of Finance and Economics

This paper studies the consumption smoothing effect of health insurance based on medical insurance reform in China. Public health insurance in China includes the New Rural Cooperative Medical System (NCMS) and the Urban Residents’ Basic Medical Insurance (URBMI). In 2016, the NCMS and the URBMI were integrated to improve social welfare. We employ a difference-in-difference model to test whether this integration helps households better mitigate consumption fluctuation under the health shock of chronic diseases. We find that chronic diseases decrease household food and nonfood consumption by 18.1% and 6.4% and increase self-paid medical expenditures by 81.3%. The integration reform can mitigate the fluctuation of food consumption and self-paid medical expenditures under chronic disease shock by 11.5 and 19.3 percentage points. There is, however, no significant difference in nonfood consumption fluctuation before and after the reform.


Daniel Prinz

Harvard University


Yugang Ding

School of Economics Peking University

Tuesday August 3, 2021 9:00am - 10:30am EDT