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Bismarck's Health Insurance and the Mortality Decline

Stefan Bauernschuster, Anastasia Driva and Erik Hornung ()
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Anastasia Driva: LMU Munich

CAGE Online Working Paper Series from Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE)

Abstract: We investigate the impact on mortality of the world’s first compulsory health insurance, established by Otto von Bismarck, Chancellor of the German Empire, in 1884. Employing a multi-layered empirical setup, we draw on international comparisons and difference-in-differences strategies using Prussian administrative panel data to exploit differences in eligibility for insurance across occupations. All approaches yield a consistent pattern suggesting that Bismarck’s Health Insurance generated a significant mortality reduction. The results are largely driven by a decline of deaths from infectious diseases. We present prima facie evidence that diffusion of new hygiene knowledge through physicians was an important channel.Keywords: health insurance, mortality, demographic transition, Prussia JEL Classification: : I13, I18, N33, J11

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea, nep-his and nep-ias
Date: 2017
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https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/resea ... 336-2017_hornung.pdf

Related works:
Working Paper: Bismarck's Health Insurance and the Mortality Decline (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Bismarck's Health Insurance and the Mortality Decline (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: Bismarck's Health Insurance and the Mortality Decline (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: Bismarck’s Health Insurance and the Mortality Decline (2016)
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