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Is Employer-Based Health Insurance a Barrier to Entrepreneurship?

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Author Info

  • Robert W. Fairlie

    (Department of Economics, University of California, Santa Cruz and RAND)

  • Kanika Kapur

    (School of Economics and Geary Institute, University College Dublin and RAND)

  • Susan Gates

    (RAND)

Abstract

The focus on employer-provided health insurance in the United States may restrict business creation. We address the limited research on the topic of “entrepreneurship lock” by using recent panel data from matched Current Population Surveys. We use difference-in-difference models to estimate the interaction between having a spouse with employer-based health insurance and potential demand for health care. We find evidence of a larger negative effect of health insurance demand on the entrepreneurship probability for those without spousal coverage than for those with spousal coverage. We also take a new approach in the literature to examine the question of whether employer-based health insurance discourages entrepreneurship by exploiting the discontinuity created at age 65 through the qualification for Medicare. Using a novel procedure of identifying age in months from matched monthly CPS data, we compare the probability of business ownership among male workers in the months just before turning age 65 and in the months just after turning age 65. We find that business ownership rates increase from just under age 65 to just over age 65, whereas we find no change in business ownership rates from just before to just after for other ages 55-75. Our estimates provide some evidence that "entrepreneurship lock" exists, which raises concerns that the bundling of health insurance and employment may create an inefficient allocation of which or when workers start businesses.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Geary Institute, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200939.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: 17 Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:200939

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Keywords: Self-employment; entrepreneurship; health insurance;

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References

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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Employer-based health insurance and growth
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-11-02 15:54:00
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. Chu-Shiu Li & Chwen-Chi Liu & Yu-Chen Kuo & Chen-Sheng Yang, 2013. "Health insurance provision and labor contracts for small firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 325-334, February.
  2. C. J. Krizan & Adela Luque & Alice Zawacki, 2014. "The Effect Of Employer Health Insurance Offering On The Growth And Survival Of Small Business Prior To The Affordable Care Act," Working Papers 14-22, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. Nicholas Lawson, 2013. "Fiscal Externalities and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Working Papers halshs-00907807, HAL.
  4. Velamuri, Malathi, 2009. "Taxes, Health Insurance and Women's Self-Employment," MPRA Paper 50474, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Apr 2012.
  5. 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).
  6. Dague, Laura & DeLeire, Thomas C. & Leininger, Lindsey, 2014. "The Effect of Public Insurance Coverage for Childless Adults on Labor Supply," IZA Discussion Papers 8187, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Åstebro, Thomas & Thompson, Peter, 2011. "Entrepreneurs, Jacks of all trades or Hobos?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 637-649, June.
  8. Nicholas Lawson, 2013. "Fiscal Externalities and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," AMSE Working Papers 1357, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France, revised 21 Nov 2013.
  9. Gulcin Gumus & Tracy Regan, 2007. "Self-Employment and the Role of Health Insurance," Working Papers 0910, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
  10. Laura Dague & Thomas DeLeire & Lindsey Leininger, 2014. "This study provides plausibly causal estimates of the effect of public insurance coverage on the employment of nonelderly, nondisabled adults without dependent children (“childless adults”). We us," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 14-213, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  11. John Schmitt & Nathan Lane, 2009. "An International Comparison of Small Business Employment," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2009-27, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
  12. Silvia H. Barcellos & Mireille Jacobson, 2014. "The Effects of Medicare on Medical Expenditure Risk and Financial Strain," NBER Working Papers 19954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Heim, Bradley T. & Lurie, Ithai Z., 2010. "The effect of self-employed health insurance subsidies on self-employment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 995-1007, December.

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