About this Project

2014 – 2016

This project augmented 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 used a large scale survey to quantitatively measure the impact of RSBY on self-reported health and financial status, but it did not yet have a qualitative or a significant non-financial component. With support from the Neubauer Collegium, we hoped to accomplish two new goals. First, we combined 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 fostered a dialogue between disciplines about their methodology for information gathering and analysis. Specifically, we hoped economists learn from ethnographers the methodology and interpretation of (open-ended) interviewing and informally observed behaviors. Conversely, we hoped ethnographers will combine their own findings with statistical analysis. We aimed 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


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