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The Impact of the Macroeconomy on Health Insurance Coverage: Evidence from the Great Recession

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Author Info

  • Cawley, John

    ()
    (Cornell University)

  • Moriya, Asako S.

    ()
    (Carnegie Mellon University)

  • Simon, Kosali

    ()
    (Indiana University)

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of the macroeconomy on the health insurance coverage of Americans using panel data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) for 2004-2010, a period that includes the Great Recession of 2007-09. We find that a one percentage point increase in the state unemployment rate is associated with a 1.67 percentage point (2.12%) reduction in the probability that men have health insurance; this effect is strongest among college-educated, white, and older (50-64 year old) men. We estimate that 9.3 million Americans, the vast majority of whom were adult men, lost health insurance due to a higher unemployment rate alone during the 2007-09 recession. We conclude with a discussion of how components of recent health care reform may influence this relationship in the future.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6124.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming in: Health Economics, 2014.
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6124

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Keywords: SCHIP; Medicaid; health insurance; recession; unemployment;

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Cited by:
  1. Courtney C. Coile & Phillip B. Levine & Robin McKnight, 2014. "Recessions, Older Workers, and Longevity: How Long Are Recessions Good for Your Health?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 92-119, August.
  2. Johanna Catherine Maclean & Jonathan H. Cantor & Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, 2013. "Economic Downturns and Substance Abuse Treatment: Evidence from Admissions Data," NBER Working Papers 19115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kristopher J. Hult & Tomas J. Philipson, 2012. "Public Liabilities and Health Care Policy," NBER Working Papers 18571, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Erdal Tekin & Chandler McClellan & Karen Jean Minyard, 2013. "Health and Health Behaviors during the Worst of Times: Evidence from the Great Recession," NBER Working Papers 19234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Sheila Hoag & Adam Swinburn & Sean Orzol & Michael Barna & Maggie Colby & Brenda Natzke & Christopher Trenholm & Fredric Blavin & Genevieve M. Kenney & Michale Huntress & Others, 2013. "CHIPRA Mandated Evaluation of Express Lane Eligibility: Final Findings," Mathematica Policy Research Reports, Mathematica Policy Research 8009, Mathematica Policy Research.
  6. Bradley, Cathy J. & Neumark, David & Barkowski, Scott, 2013. "Does employer-provided health insurance constrain labor supply adjustments to health shocks? New evidence on women diagnosed with breast cancer," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 833-849.

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