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Health Insurance and Income Inequality

Author

Listed:
  • Robert Kaestner
  • Darren Lubotsky

Abstract

Health insurance and other in-kind forms of compensation and government benefits are typically not included in measures of income and analyses of inequality. This omission is important. Given the large and growing cost of health care in the United States and the presence of large government health insurance programs such as Medicaid and Medicare, it is crucial to understand how health insurance and related public policies contribute to measured economic well-being and inequality. Our paper assesses the effect on inequality of the primary government programs that affect health insurance.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Kaestner & Darren Lubotsky, 2016. "Health Insurance and Income Inequality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 53-78, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:30:y:2016:i:2:p:53-78
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.30.2.53
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David M. Blau & Donna B. Gilleskie, 2008. "The Role Of Retiree Health Insurance In The Employment Behavior Of Older Men," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(2), pages 475-514, May.
    2. Congressional Budget Office, 2011. "Trends in the Distribution of Household Income Between 1979 and 2007," Reports 42729, Congressional Budget Office.
    3. Burtless Gary & Svaton Pavel, 2010. "Health Care, Health Insurance, and the Distribution of American Incomes," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 13(1), pages 1-41, February.
    4. Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2011. "The Effects of Health Insurance and Self‐Insurance on Retirement Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 693-732, May.
    5. Richard V. Burkhauser & Jeff Larrimore & Kosali Simon, 2013. "Measuring The Impact Of Valuing Health Insurance On Levels And Trends In Inequality And How The Affordable Care Act Of 2010 Could Affect Them," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(4), pages 779-794, October.
    6. Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 2016. "Human Capital Investment, Inequality and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 21841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Craig Garthwaite & Tal Gross & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2014. "Public Health Insurance, Labor Supply, and Employment Lock," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(2), pages 653-696.
    8. Daniel Feenberg & Elisabeth Coutts, 1993. "An introduction to the TAXSIM model," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 189-194.
    9. Wankyo Chung, 2003. "Fringe Benefits and Inequality in the Labor Market," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(3), pages 517-529, July.
    10. Richard V. Burkhauser & Kosali I. Simon, 2010. "Measuring the Impact of Health Insurance on Levels and Trends in Inequality," NBER Working Papers 15811, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Congressional Budget Office, 2011. "Trends in the Distribution of Household Income Between 1979 and 2007," Reports 42729, Congressional Budget Office.
    12. Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 2016. "Human Capital Investment, Inequality, and Economic Growth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S2), pages 99-127.
    13. repec:cbo:report:42729 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Amy Finkelstein & Nathaniel Hendren & Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 2015. "The Value of Medicaid: Interpreting Results from the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment," NBER Working Papers 21308, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Peter Kuhn & Fernando Lozano, 2008. "The Expanding Workweek? Understanding Trends in Long Work Hours among U.S. Men, 1979-2006," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 311-343, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Chris Sampson’s journal round-up for 30th May 2016
      by Chris Sampson in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2016-05-30 16:00:00

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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