Juan Pablo Atal

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Assistant Professor of Economics

Associate Undergraduate Chair of Economics


Ph.D., Economics, University of California, Berkeley, 2016

I am an applied microeconomist whose research focuses on different aspects of health economics and public economics. My current research on health economics is focused on health insurance, the determinants of team productivity in emergency departments and the effect of quality regulations on the pharmaceutical market. My work on public economics has focused on social protection as well as on the determinants of tax compliance. A recent paper, "Exit, Voice or Loyalty? An Investigation into Mandated Portability of Front-Loaded Private Health Plans,” with Hanming Fang, Martin Karlsson, Nicolas R. Ziebarth (The Journal of Risk and Insurance) studies the workings of the German private health insurance market; a market based around dynamic contracts. We study a major reform aimed at fostering the switching of affiliates across insurance companies that did not produce the expected results. Using a theoretical model and empirical evidence, we find that renegotiation between insurers and their clients are key for understanding why switching rates across companies did not increase after the regulation. My research in this area expands the knowledge regarding the workings of long-term insurance contracts and could be used as an input for evaluating the proposals to introduce dynamic incentives into the US individual health insurance market. In 2018, I was chosen by the University of Pennsylvania School of Arts and Sciences, to receive an Axilrod Faculty Fellowship for two years, which helped to support my focus on aging research.

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