Becker Friedman Institute
for Research in Economics
The University of Chicago

Research. Insights. Impact. Advancing the Legacy of Chicago Economics.


Estimating Equilibrium in Health Insurance Exchanges: Price Competition and Subsidy Design under the ACA

Pietro Tebaldi

To design premium subsidies in a health insurance market it is necessary to estimate consumer demand, cost, and study how different subsidy schemes affect insurer's incentives. I combine data on household-level enrollment and plan-level claims from the California Affordable Care Act insurance exchange with a model of insurance demand and insurers' competition to assess equilibrium outcomes under alternative subsidy designs. I estimate that younger households are significantly more price sensitive and cheaper to cover.

Optimal Taxation and R&D Policies

Ufuk Akcigit, Douglas Hanley, Stefanie Stantcheva

We study the optimal design of R&D policies and corporate taxation when the outputs of innovation are not appropriable in the absence of intellectual property rights policies and there are non-internalized technology spillovers across firms. Firms are heterogeneous in their research productivity, i.e., in the efficiency with which they convert a given set of R&D inputs into successful innovations. There is asymmetric information about firm productivity and about its stochastic evolution over time that prevents the first best solution to the technology spillover.

The Student Loan Consolidation Option

Deborah Lucas, Damien Moore

The federal government makes subsidized federal financing for higher education widely available. The extent of the subsidy varies over time with interest rate and credit market conditions. A loan provision that has added considerably to the size and volatility of the subsidy is the consolidation option, which allows students to convert floating rate federal loans to a fixed rate equal to the average floating rate on their outstanding loans.