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What Do People Buy When They Don't Buy Health Insurance And What Does that Say about Why They are Uninsured?

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  • Helen Levy
  • Thomas DeLeire

Abstract

Using data from the 1994 through 1998 Consumer Expenditure Surveys, we compare household spending on 16 different goods (food at home, food away from home, housing, transportation, alcohol and tobacco, interest, furniture and appliances, home maintenance, clothing, utilities, medical care, health insurance, entertainment, personal care, education, and other) for insured versus uninsured households, controlling for total expenditures and demographic characteristics. The analysis shows that the uninsured in the lowest quartile of the distribution of total expenditures spend more on housing, food at home, alcohol and tobacco, and education than do the insured. In contrast, households in the top quartile of the distribution of total expenditures spend more on transportation and furniture and appliances than do comparable insured households. These results are consistent with the idea that poor uninsured households face higher housing prices than do poor insured households. Further research is necessary to determine whether high housing prices can help explain why some households do not have insurance.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9826.

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Date of creation: Jul 2003
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9826

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References

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  1. Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
  2. Shore-Sheppard, Lara & Buchmueller, Thomas C. & Jensen, Gail A., 2000. "Medicaid and crowding out of private insurance: a re-examination using firm level data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 61-91, January.
  3. Farber, Henry S. & Levy, Helen, 2000. "Recent trends in employer-sponsored health insurance coverage: are bad jobs getting worse?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 93-119, January.
  4. Hanushek, Eric A & Quigley, John M, 1980. "What Is the Price Elasticity of Housing Demand?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(3), pages 449-54, August.
  5. Cutler, David M & Gruber, Jonathan, 1996. "Does Public Insurance Crowd Out Private Insurance?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 391-430, May.
  6. Alan B. Krueger & Helen Levy, 1997. "Accounting for the Slowdown in Employer Health Care Costs," NBER Working Papers 5891, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jonathan Gruber & Ebonya Washington, 2003. "Subsidies to Employee Health Insurance Premiums and the Health Insurance Market," NBER Working Papers 9567, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Cardon, James H & Hendel, Igal, 2001. "Asymmetric Information in Health Insurance: Evidence from the National Medical Expenditure Survey," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 408-27, Autumn.
  9. Bundorf, M. Kate & Pauly, Mark V., 2006. "Is health insurance affordable for the uninsured?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 650-673, July.
  10. repec:fth:prinin:370 is not listed on IDEAS
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Cited by:
  1. Ramón Castaño & Andrés Zambrano, 2007. "Aseguramiento para la población pobre: una herramienta de protección financiera," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 002026, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
  2. Jusot, Florence & Legal, Anne & Wittwer, Jérôme, 2008. "La complémentaire santé : un bien normal ?," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/1926, Paris Dauphine University.
  3. Jean Marie Abraham & Thomas DeLeire & Annne Beeson Royalty, 2007. "Health Insurance, Pensions, and Paid Leave: Access to Health Insurance at Small Firms in a Broader Benefit Context: Working Paper 2007-08," Working Papers 18725, Congressional Budget Office.
  4. Sherry A. Glied, 2008. "Mandates and the Affordability of Health Care," NBER Working Papers 14545, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Wittwer, Jérôme & Jusot, Florence & Perraudin, Clémence, 2010. "Determinants of Complementary Health Insurance in France : The predominant role of the level of income," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/7734, Paris Dauphine University.
  6. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00575014 is not listed on IDEAS

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