Econstudentlog

A few studies

1. Coffee consumption and cardiovascular risk (“regular coffee consumption is not associated with increased risk for CVDs or mortality in diabetic men”)

2. Do Microfinance Programs Help Families Insure Consumption Against Illness? (“We test whether access to microfinancial savings and lending institutions helps Indonesian families smooth consumption after declines in adult health. In general, results support the importance of these institutions in helping families to self-insure consumption against health shocks”)

3. How to Make the Japanese Public Pension System Reliable and Workable. I don’t know anything about the subject, but this paper has some interesting facts. Here’s one bit:

“Agency created yet another social scandal. By 2005, the problem of unpaid contributions had become prevalent and, as a result, the compliance rate had dropped substantially. In November 2005, the head of the Agency announced that all local offices had to achieve an official compliance rate target (65.7% in 2004, 69.5% in 2005, 74.5% in 2006, and 80% in 2007) for Category 1-insured persons. Many local officers took this message in the wrong way. They decided to reduce the number of eligible persons by giving exemption status for certain individuals without obtaining their consent. By reducing the denominator, the compliance ratio increased. Needless to say, this does not provide any solution to the problem of the declining number of contributors. As a result, the official compliance ratio remains still high, even though it has dropped from 85% in 1990 to 66% in 2006. Yashiro (2008) shows that, after correcting for these manipulations, this ratio has been less than 50% since 2003. What is more, these actions were also illegal under the National Pension
Law. After this case became public, the Social Insurance Agency discovered that 222 578 cases had been handled illegally in 31 local branches and 116 local offices throughout Japan. In August 2006, the Agency punished 1752 officials for misconduct.

October 5, 2010 - Posted by | data, economics, health, studies

2 Comments »

  1. > They decided to reduce the number of eligible persons by giving exemption status for certain individuals without obtaining their consent. By reducing the denominator, the compliance ratio increased. Needless to say, this does not provide any solution to the problem of the declining number of contributors.

    https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Goodhart%27s_law in action, one might say. Dangerous to optimize a utility function which isn’t your real utility function.

    Comment by gwern | October 23, 2011 | Reply

    • “Dangerous to optimize a utility function which isn’t your real utility function.”

      Yes, or your own utility function. It can’t be an easy job being a politician. That social welfare function isn’t exactly an easy thing to pin down. Much easier to maximize political rents from holding office, likelihood of re-election or some such more down-to-earth variable…

      Comment by US | October 23, 2011 | Reply


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