Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date


Working Paper Number

WP #05013, November 2007


We extend the nonparametric literature on partially identified probability distributions and use our analytical results to provide sharp bounds on the impact of universal health insurance on provider visits and medical expenditures. Our approach accounts for uncertainty about the reliability of self- reported insurance status as well as uncertainty created by unknown counterfactuals. We construct health insurance validation data using detailed information from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Imposing relatively weak nonparametric assumptions, we estimate that under universal coverage monthly per capita provider visits and expenditures would rise by less than 8% and 16%, respectively, across the nonelderly population.

Publication Status

This is a working paper of an article from Journal of Human Resources 44, no. 2 (2009): 409-449. doi: 10.3368/jhr.44.2.409.

JEL Classification

C14, C21, I18

File Format



57 pages