March 21, 2013

A market that grows

This is the case of voluntary health insurance. Amid the current downturn, in 2012 there was an increase in the number of members (2.04%) and premiums (6.09%). This data confirms previous trends although it reduces its strength. The market serves 1.9 m members and generates 1,300 m  in premiums (close to 8% of health expenditure). The trend towards collectivization is consolidating again. Right  now close to 45% of premiums come from group insurance due to tax-breaks that only to apply to such policies.
The key question then is not regarding the growth of that market, we have to ask ourselves if such growth is in the right direction towards a more competitive and efficient market. My impression is that information asymmetries and current incentives (tax rebates) need to be rebuilt. 
Let's leave it here for today.

PS. Gary Becker on the Breakup of Countries: No Economic Disaster

PS. Carles Boix, on the role of elites.

PS. Yesterday I attended at the conference on economic and legal dimensions of independence:

PS. Extracted from Vilaweb: Message to the elites: independence is viable and inevitable

The Wilson Initiative at Cercle d'Economia explains the arguments for a own state

'The independence movement goes from bottom to top, from the street to the Circle. And the role of the elite is to provide what is inevitable. There is vibration, there is anxiety ... But we have to make an effort to allow this to happen. " This is the message that Professor Boix has sent on behalf of the Wilson Initiative to representatives of the country's economic and political elites that assembled at the Economic Circle to hear the arguments of this group of distinguished academics . They have appeared amid great excitement and deploying all arguments to show an audience traditionally reluctant to independence process, that is feasible and necessary. 

Savings of 1,800 euros per person per year
The own state is an opportunity, said Jaume Ventura, who presented figures on the balance between the cost and expense to have a state and maintain their structure.
'He says that if we want exactly replicate the structure in Spain that would cost us 383 euros per person per year. And that, assuming we want to maintain the same embassy as many guns and so on. ' This would be the cost per head, said Ventura. But, eliminating the annual fiscal deficit of Catalonia would provide € 16,000 million. 'The Catalans pay 2,251 euros per person per year in excess of contribution to Spain. After paying 100 euros in taxes, only 57 are spent in Catalonia. Why do we pay that extra money? Not because lower pensions than in Spain. The unemployment benefit is also the same. The explanation is that the deficit is not reversed in Catalonia infrastructure. We have the lowest public capital stock '
What could we do with this after saving 1,868 euros? "With a third of the money we could stop the budget cuts, with 1,868 of these would spend $ 500 to be the sixth country with more investment in education, and 550 euros per person per year, we would be the third country in Europe in investment in research and development.

Listen to Lizz Right while waiting for the next concert in Barcelona
The lyrics apply to the former text