Joachim Winter Do People Choose Optimal Health Insurance Plans?

Joachim Winter is Professor of Economics at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. He is also affiliated with the Institute for Economic Research (ifo). Some of his previous positions include that of Deputy Director at the Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging and that of Visiting Research Economist at the University of California at Berkeley. He is member of the editorial board of the Journal of Pension Economics and Finance and co-editor of the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. His research interests include health economics and experimental studies of individual behavior.

Area of Research

Applied Econometrics

since 2011

Professor of Economics (W3)

Ludwig Maximilian University Munich (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

Department of Economics

2004-2011

Professor of Economics (C3)

Ludwig Maximilian University Munich (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

Department of Economics

2002-2004

Deputy Director

University of Mannheim (Universität Mannheim)

Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA)

1999-2000

Visiting Research Economist

University of California, Berkeley

Department of Economics

1997-2001

Research Associate

University of Mannheim (Universität Mannheim)

Sonderforschungsbereich

2002

Habilitation

University of Mannheim (Universität Mannheim)

Department of Economics

1997

PhD

University of Mannheim (Universität Mannheim)

1993

Master of Science in Economics

University of London

1992

Diploma in Economics

University of Augsburg (Universität Augsburg)

- ifo Institute, Munich

- Economics and Business Data Center (EBDC), LMU & ifo Institute, Munich

- Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt

- International Max Planck Research School for Competition and Innovation (IMPRS-CI), Munich

- Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA), University of Mannheim

- RAND, Santa Monica, CA

Prizes

- Scientific Award of the German Institute for Retirement Planning (2010)

- Teaching Award of the State of Bavaria (2008)

- Teaching Award, German Rectors’ Conference (2008)

Fellowships

- Senior Fellow, Munich Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA), Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy (since 2015)

- “Heterogeneity of expectations and preferences and their joint impact on individual choices” (Co-PI: Dirk Engelmann), subproject A1, Sonderforschungsbereich/Transregio 190, University of Munich and Humboldt University Berlin, funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (2017-2020)

- “Evidence-Based Economics”, Graduate program funded by the State of Bavaria via the “Elitenetzwerk Bayern” (Phase 2) (2017-2021)

- “Evidence-Based Economics”, Graduate program funded by the State of Bavaria via the “Elitenetzwerk Bayern” (Phase 1) (2013-2017)

- “An Economic and Behavioral Evaluation of Medicare Part D” (PI: Dana Goldman), funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), grant No. P01 AG 033559 (2011-2016)

- “Economics of Health, Wealth, and Well-Being” (PI: David Wise), funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), grant No. P01 AG 005842 (2011-2016)

- “Novel Measurement Methods for Understanding Economic Behavior” (PI: Thomas Crossley), funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), National Centre for Research Methods (2010-2011)

- “Internet Interviewing and the HRS” (PI: Arie Kapteyn), funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), grant No. R01 AG 20717-06A1 (2008-2013)

- “Munich Center for Health Economics” (PI: Reiner Leidl), funded by the “LMUinnovativ” initiative, University of Munich (since 2007)

- “Measuring the effect of aging on perceptions and behavior” (PI: Daniel McFadden), funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), grant No. R56 AG 026622-01A1 (2006-2008)

- “Laboratory for the study of household financial decisions”, funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) (2004)

- “Optimale vs. heuristische Entscheidungsregeln in dynamischen Entscheidungssituationen”, subproject B7, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim, funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (2003-2005)

- “Experiments to measure consumption and attitudes”, National Institute on Aging (NIA), grant No. R03 AG 021759-01 (2003-2004)

- “Internet Interviewing and the HRS” (PI: Arie Kapteyn), funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), grant No. R01 AG 20717-02 (2002-2007)

- “Anchoring bias in unfolding brackets questions: Experimental evidence from the CentER Panel”, subproject of the TMR project program “Structural analysis of household savings and wealth positions over the life cycle”, funded by the European Union, grant No. ERBFMRCT960016 (2001)

- “Improving data measurement in surveys of the elderly” (PI: Daniel McFadden), funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), grant No. P01 AG 05842-18 (1999-2004)

The health insurance market is driven by the individual choices consumers make on their insurance plans. The research presented in this video explores the questions of how consumers choose these plans, whether they are able to pick the plan most suited to their situation and whether they switch to another and better health insurance plan when they have the opportunity to do so. JOACHIM WINTER explains that, after running statistical analyses and conducting experimental surveys, his research group found that consumers do not tend to pick ideal plans because often they focus too much on price and not so much on other cost-influencing factors. The researchers also discovered that switching rates to other plans are very low. These findings have implications for behavioral economics as well since they more generally offer valuable data on consumers’ choice behavior.

LT Video Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.21036/LTPUB10435

Consumer-directed Health Care: Can Consumers Look After Themselves?

  • Daniel McFadden, Joachim Winter and Florian Heiss
  • Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics
  • Published in 2008
Daniel McFadden, Joachim Winter and Florian Heiss. "Consumer-directed Health Care: Can Consumers Look After Themselves?" Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics 144, 3 (2008): 285-307.