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Health Insurance and the Labor Supply Decisions of Older Workers: Evidence from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

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  • Melissa A. Boyle
  • Joanna N. Lahey

Abstract

This paper exploits a major mid-1990s expansion in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health care system to provide evidence on two important and interrelated U.S. policy issues: retirement policy and universal health care. Using data from the Current Population Survey, we compare the labor market behavior of older veterans and non-veterans before and after the VA health benefits expansion to test the impact of public health insurance on labor supply. We find that older workers are significantly more likely to stop working or to move from full- to part-time work after receiving access to non-employer based insurance. Older workers are also more likely to leave self-employment, a result inconsistent with "job-lock" effects of employer-based insurance, but consistent with a positive income effect from new access to public insurance. Some relatively disadvantaged subpopulations, however, may increase their labor supply after gaining greater access to public insurance, consistent with complementary positive health effects of health care access for these groups...

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File URL: http://crr.bc.edu/working-papers/health-insurance-and-the-labor-supply-decisions-of-older-workers-evidence-from-the-us-department-of-veterans-affairs/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Retirement Research in its series Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College with number wp2007-23.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision: Dec 2007
Handle: RePEc:crr:crrwps:wp2007-23

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Cited by:
  1. Vincent Touzé, 2010. "Le système de retraite américain : impact de la crise et tendances de long terme," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2010-27, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  2. Gérard Cornilleau & Catherine Mathieu & Henri Sterdyniak & Vincent Touzé, 2010. "Les réformes des retraites en Europe dans la crise," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2010-17, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  3. Fairlie, Robert W. & Kapur, Kanika & Gates, Susan, 2013. "Job Lock: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design," IZA Discussion Papers 7785, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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