About this Project

This 2014-2016 project will augment a large social experiment in India that seeks to understand the value of health insurance, specifically India’s large public insurance expansion, Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY). This experiment uses a large scale survey to quantitatively measure the impact of RSBY on self-reported health and financial status, but it does not yet have a qualitative or a significant non-financial component. With support from the Neubauer Collegium, we hope to accomplish two new goals. First, we will combine ethnography with different methodologies to measure a broader range of outcomes and to arrive at a more comprehensive understanding of whether and why health insurance achieves certain impacts. Second, we will foster a dialogue between disciplines about their methodology for information gathering and analysis. Specifically, we hope economists learn from ethnographers the methodology and interpretation of (open-ended) interviewing and informally observed behaviors. Conversely, we hope ethnographers will combine their own findings with statistical analysis. We aim to spark similar methodological dialogues with researchers in psychology and epidemiology. Each methodology has its strengths and weaknesses, but together they can provide a level of understanding of the impacts of health insurance in India that surpasses what any single discipline can achieve.


Tata Centre for Development to tackle India’s complex development challenges

June 23, 2016

UChicago-Tata Trusts collaboration to build capacity for research and implement evidence-based policy

-- UChicago News

Neubauer Collegium’s new research projects to tackle complex global questions

February 3, 2014

From the impact of a new government health insurance program in India to the profound questions surrounding death and end-of-life care, the 15 new research projects supported by the Neubauer Family Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago aim to provide new ways of studying some of the most complex questions facing contemporary society.


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