Measuring the Impact of Health Insurance on Levels and Trends in Inequality
AbstractA substantial part of the inequality literature in the United States has focused on yearly levels and trends in income and its distribution over time. Recent findings in that literature show that median income appears to be stagnating with income growth primarily coming at higher income levels. But the value of health insurance is an important and growing source of economic well being for American households that is missed by focusing solely on income. In this paper we take estimates of the value of different types of health insurance received by households and add them to usual pre tax post transfer measures of income from the Current Population Survey's March Annual Demographic Supplement for income years 1995-2008 to investigate their impact on levels and trends in measured inequality. We show that ignoring the value of health insurance coverage will substantially understate the level of economic well being of Americans and its upward trend and overstate the level of inequality and its upward trend. As an application of our fuller measure of income, we consider how two provisions of current health reform proposals to expand health insurance affect the level and distribution of economic well being.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15811.
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Burkhauser, Richard V., Jeff Larrimore, and Kosali Simon. “Measuring the Impact of Valuing Health Insurance on Levels and Tre nds in Inequality and How the Affordable Care Act of 2010 Could Affect Them .” Contemporary Economic Policy , 31, (4): 779 - 794.
Note: HC HE
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
- I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Richard V. Burkhauser & Jeff Larrimore & Kosali I. Simon, 2011.
"A "Second Opinion" on the Economic Health of the American Middle Class,"
NBER Working Papers
17164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Burkhauser, Richard V. & Larrimore, Jeff & Simon, Kosali I., 2012. "A "Second Opinion" On The Economic Health Of The American Middle Class," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 65(1), pages 7-32, March.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.