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Long-Run Earnings Volatility and Health Insurance Coverage: Evidence from the SIPP Gold Standard File

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  • Matthew Rutledge
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    Abstract

    Despite the notable increase in earnings volatility and the attention paid to the growing ranks of the uninsured, the relationship between career earnings and short- and mediumrun health insurance status has been ignored due to a lack of data. I use a new dataset, the SIPP Gold Standard File, that merges health insurance status and demographics from the Survey of Income and Program Participation with career earnings records from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to examine the relationship between long-run family earnings volatility and health insurance coverage. I find that more volatile career earnings are associated with an increased probability of experiencing an uninsured episode, with larger effects for men, young workers, and the unmarried. These findings are consistent with the “scarring” literature, and suggest the importance of safety-net measures for job losses and health insurance coverage.

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    File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/2011/CES-WP-11-35.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2011
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 11-35.

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    Length: 41 pages
    Date of creation: Oct 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:11-35

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    1. Shin, Donggyun, 1994. "Cyclicality of real wages among young men," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 137-142, October.
    2. Bruce C. Fallick, 1996. "A review of the recent empirical literature on displaced workers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(1), pages 5-16, October.
    3. Kahn, Lisa B., 2010. "The long-term labor market consequences of graduating from college in a bad economy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 303-316, April.
    4. Robert A. Moffitt & Peter Gottschalk, 2002. "Trends in the Transitory Variance of Earnings in the United States," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C68-C73, March.
    5. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1991. "Are Workers Permanently Scarred by Job Displacements?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 319-24, March.
    6. Shin, Donggyun & Solon, Gary, 2011. "Trends in men's earnings volatility: What does the Panel Study of Income Dynamics show?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 973-982.
    7. Devereux, Paul J. & Hart, Robert A., 2005. "Real Wage Cyclicality of Job Stayers, Within-Company Job Movers, and Between-Company Job Movers," IZA Discussion Papers 1651, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Erik Hurst & Geng Li & Benjamin Pugsley, 2014. "Are Household Surveys Like Tax Forms? Evidence from Income Underreporting of the Self-Employed," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(1), pages 19-33, March.
    9. Stevens, Ann Huff, 1997. "Persistent Effects of Job Displacement: The Importance of Multiple Job Losses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 165-88, January.
    10. Ann Huff Stevens, 2001. "Changes in earnings instability and job loss," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(1), pages 60-78, October.
    11. David T. Ellwood, 1982. "Teenage Unemployment: Permanent Scars or Temporary Blemishes?," NBER Chapters, in: The Youth Labor Market Problem: Its Nature, Causes, and Consequences, pages 349-390 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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