Cover: Alternative models of choice under uncertainty and demand for health insurance

Alternative models of choice under uncertainty and demand for health insurance

Published 1996

by M. Susan Marquis, Martin R. Holmer

The authors test a standard expected utility model and alternative models about how people evaluate risky prospects using data about individuals' preferences among health insurance plans. A model that assumes people evaluate gains and losses relative to a reference rather than final outcomes, treat gains and losses asymmetrically, and process certain and uncertain outcomes separately provides a better fit than the standard utility model. These findings suggest inertia in health insurance plan choice and that individuals are more responsive to decreases than to increases in the price of insurance.

Originally published in: The Review of Economics and Statistics, v. 78, no. 3, August 1996, pp. 421-427.

This report is part of the RAND reprint series. The Reprint was a product of RAND from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.