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Health insurance coverage and the macroeconomy

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Author Info

  • Cawley, John
  • Simon, Kosali I.

Abstract

The primary objective of this paper is to improve our understanding of the historic relationship between state and national macroeconomic climate and the health insurance coverage of Americans. The secondary objective of this paper is to use the historic findings to estimate how the number of uninsured Americans changed during the 2001 recession, and to estimate whether to date enough people have gained health insurance during the current recovery to offset the losses during the recession. We conclude that the macroeconomy (measured by state unemployment rate and real gross state product) is correlated with the probability of men's health insurance coverage and that this correlation is only partly explained by changes in men's employment status. Counter-cyclical health insurance programs such as Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program seem to ensure that the health insurance coverage of women and children is insulated from macroeconomic changes. We estimate that 851,000 Americans, the vast majority of whom were adult men, lost health insurance due to macroeconomic conditions alone during the 2001 recession.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 24 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 299-315

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:24:y:2005:i:2:p:299-315

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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References

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  1. David M. Cutler, 2002. "Employee Costs and the Decline in Health Insurance Coverage," NBER Working Papers 9036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650, May.
  4. Ruhm, Christopher J., 1995. "Economic conditions and alcohol problems," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 583-603, December.
  5. Janet Currie & Jonathan Gruber, 1995. "Health Insurance Eligibility, Utilization of Medical care, and Child Health," NBER Working Papers 5052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2003. "Good times make you sick," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 637-658, July.
  7. Sherry Glied & Kathrine Jack, 2003. "Macroeconomic Conditions, Health Care Costs, and the Distribution of Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 10029, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Roger Feldman & Bryan Dowd & Scott Leitz & Lynn A. Blewett, 1997. "The Effect of Premiums on the Small Firm's Decision to Offer Health Insurance," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(4), pages 635-658.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. McInerney, Melissa & Mellor, Jennifer M., 2012. "Recessions and seniors’ health, health behaviors, and healthcare use: Analysis of the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 744-751.
  2. Stephen Barnes & Dek Terrell, 2009. "The Impact of the Labor Market on Health Insurance," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 328-339, December.
  3. Daysal, N. Meltem, 2012. "Does uninsurance affect the health outcomes of the insured? Evidence from heart attack patients in California," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 545-563.
  4. Andrea Kutinova, 2006. "The Effects of Unemployment on Childbearing," Working Papers in Economics 06/12, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.

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