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Health Insurance and Less Skilled Workers

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  • Janet Currie
  • Aaron S. Yelowitz

Abstract

We began this research with the belief that low and declining levels of private-employer sponsored health insurance were a continuing problem, especially among less skilled workers. But, our analysis paints a more complex picture. Using data from the March CPS, the SIPP, and the CPS benefits surveys, we find that while many less skilled workers remain uncovered, the decline in private employer-sponsored health insurance coverage has slowed recently, and may even have reversed. Neither crowdout, nor a deterioration in the quality of jobs available to the less skilled seems likely to fully explain these time-series trends in health insurance coverage. A simple explanation that has been largely overlooked is that rising health care costs have driven much of the reduction in private health insurance coverage, but it is difficult to test this hypothesis given the available data.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research in its series JCPR Working Papers with number 63.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 1999
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Handle: RePEc:wop:jopovw:63

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References

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  1. Katharine Bradbury, 1996. "Growing inequality of family incomes: changing families and changing wages," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Jul, pages 55-82.
  2. David M. Cutler & Louise Sheiner, 1997. "Managed Care and the Growth of Medical Expenditures," NBER Working Papers 6140, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Yelowitz, Aaron S, 1995. "The Medicaid Notch, Labor Supply, and Welfare Participation: Evidence from Eligibility Expansions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 909-39, November.
  4. Janet Currie & Brigitte C. Madrian, 1998. "Health, Health Insurance and the Labor Market," JCPR Working Papers 27, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  5. Henry S. Farber & Helen Levy, 1998. "Recent Trends in Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Coverage: Are Bad Jobs Getting Worse?," Working Papers 781, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. Janet Currie & Jonathan Gruber, 1995. "Health Insurance Eligibility, Utilization of Medical care, and Child Health," NBER Working Papers 5052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jonathan Gruber & James M. Poterba, 1996. "Tax Subsidies to Employer-Provided Health Insurance," NBER Chapters, in: Empirical Foundations of Household Taxation, pages 135-168 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Janet Currie, 1993. "Gender Gaps in Benefits Coverage," NBER Working Papers 4265, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 1999. "Welfare, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Labor Supply of Single Mothers," NBER Working Papers 7363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Lara Shore-Sheppard, 1996. "Stemming the Tide? The Effect of Expanding Medicaid Eligibility on Health Insurance Coverage," Working Papers 740, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  11. Esel Y. Yazici & Robert Kaestner, 1998. "Medicaid Expansions and The Crowding Out of Private Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 6527, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Martin Feldstein & James M. Poterba, 1996. "Empirical Foundations of Household Taxation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feld96-1, octubre-d.
  13. Rebecca M. Blank & Patricia Ruggles, 1996. "When Do Women Use Aid to Families with Dependent Children and Food Stamps? The Dynamics of Eligibility Versus Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 57-89.
  14. Maria Cancian & Deborah Reed, 1998. "Assessing The Effects Of Wives' Earnings On Family Income Inequality," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 73-79, February.
  15. repec:fth:prinin:361 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  17. David M. Cutler & Jonathan Gruber, 1995. "Does Public Insurance Crowd Out Private Insurance?," NBER Working Papers 5082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Currie, Janet & Gruber, Jonathan, 1996. "Saving Babies: The Efficacy and Cost of Recent Changes in the Medicaid Eligibility of Pregnant Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1263-96, December.
  19. repec:fth:prinin:402 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Janet Currie & Richard Chaykowski, 1992. "Male Jobs, Female Jobs, and Gender Gaps in Benefits Coverage," NBER Working Papers 4106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Thomas C. Buchmueller & John DiNardo & Robert G. Valletta, 2002. "Union effects on health insurance provision and coverage in the United States," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(4), pages 610-627, July.
  2. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 2000. "Making Single Mothers Work: Recent Tax and Welfare Policy and its Effects," NBER Working Papers 7491, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kaestner, Robert & Kaushal, Neeraj, 2003. "Welfare reform and health insurance coverage of low-income families," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 959-981, November.
  4. Anne Beeson Royalty, 2001. "Do Minimum Wage Increases Lower the Probability that Low-Skilled Workers Will Receive Fringe Benefits?," JCPR Working Papers 222, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  5. Marianne Bitler & Jonah Gelbach & Hilary Hoynes, 2004. "Welfare Reform and Health," NBER Working Papers 10549, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Kosali Ilayperuma Simon & Robert Kaestner, 2003. "Do Minimum Wages Affect Non-wage Job Attributes? Evidence on Fringe Benefits and Working Conditions," NBER Working Papers 9688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Janet Currie & Firouz Gahvari, 2008. "Transfers in Cash and In-Kind: Theory Meets the Data," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(2), pages 333-83, June.
  8. Christina Gibson, 2001. "Privileging the Participant: The Importance of Take-Up Rates In Social Welfare Evaluations," Working Papers 968, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
  9. Currie, Janet & Fahr, John, 2004. "Hospitals, managed care, and the charity caseload in California," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 421-442, May.
  10. Fligstein, Neil & Shin, Taek-Jin, 2003. "The shareholder value society: A review of the changes in working conditions and inequality in the U.S., 1976-2000," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt0z85d717, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  11. Chernew, Michael & Cutler, David & Keenan, Patricia S., 2005. "Increasing Health Insurance Costs and the Decline in Health Insurance Coverage," Scholarly Articles 2660660, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Marianne Bitler & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2006. "Welfare Reform and Indirect Impacts on Health," NBER Working Papers 12642, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Luojia Hu, 1999. "Use of Means-Tested Transfer Programs by Immigrants, Their Children, and Their Children's Children," JCPR Working Papers 71, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  14. Meyer, Rebecca & Orazem, Peter & Wachenheim, William A., 2002. "Labor Market Implications of Rising Costs of Employer-Provided Health Insurance," Staff General Research Papers 10016, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.

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