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Health Insurance Coverage And Entrepreneurship


  • Alison J. Wellington


This article estimates the importance of health insurance coverage on the probability of self-employment. Using data from the 1993 Current Population Survey (CPS), the author focuses on the impact of having health insurance through one's spouse on the likelihood of self-employment. The best estimates suggest that a guaranteed alternative source of health insurance would increase the probability of self-employment between 2.3 and 4.4 percentage points for husbands and 1.2 and 4.6 percentage points for wives. The author's more conservative estimates suggest that universal coverage could increase the percentage of self-employed in the workforce by 2 to 3.5 percentage points. Copyright 2001 Western Economic Association International.

Suggested Citation

  • Alison J. Wellington, 2001. "Health Insurance Coverage And Entrepreneurship," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 19(4), pages 465-478, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:19:y:2001:i:4:p:465-478

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peter Kooreman & Arie Kapteyn, 1990. "On the Empirical Implementation of Some Game Theoretic Models of Household Labor Supply," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 584-598.
    2. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Penrod, John R. & Rosen, Harvey S., 1996. "Health insurance and the supply of entrepreneurs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1-2), pages 209-235, October.
    3. Devine, Theresa J, 1994. "Changes in Wage-and-Salary Returns to Skill and the Recent Rise in Female Self-Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 108-113, May.
    4. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & David Joulfaian & Harvey S. Rosen, 1994. "Entrepreneurial Decisions and Liquidity Constraints," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 334-347, Summer.
    5. Evans, David S & Leighton, Linda S, 1989. "Some Empirical Aspects of Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 519-535, June.
    6. Gustman, Alan L. & Steinmeier, Thomas L., 1993. "Pension portability and labor mobility : Evidence from the survey of income and program participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 299-323, March.
    7. Thomas C. Buchmueller & Robert G. Valletta, 1996. "The Effects of Employer-Provided Health Insurance on Worker Mobility," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 49(3), pages 439-455, April.
    8. Schiller, Bradley R & Crewson, Philip E, 1997. "Entrepreneurial Origins: A Longitudinal Inquiry," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(3), pages 523-531, July.
    9. Brigitte C. Madrian, 1994. "Employment-Based Health Insurance and Job Mobility: Is there Evidence of Job-Lock?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 27-54.
    10. Jonathan Gruber & James M. Poterba, 1993. "Tax Incentives and the Decision to Purchase Health Insurance: Evidence from the Self-Employed," NBER Working Papers 4435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Jonathan Gruber & James Poterba, 1994. "Tax Incentives and the Decision to Purchase Health Insurance: Evidence from the Self-Employed," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 701-733.
    12. Rachel Connelly, 1992. "Self-employment and providing child care," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 29(1), pages 17-29, February.
    13. T. Paul Schultz, 1990. "Testing the Neoclassical Model of Family Labor Supply and Fertility," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 599-634.
    14. Macpherson, David A., 1988. "Self-employment and married women," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 281-284.
    15. Lundberg, Shelly J, 1988. "Labor Supply of Husbands and Wives: A Simultaneous Equations Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 224-235, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bradley Heim & Ithai Lurie & Kosali Simon, 2017. "Did the Affordable Care Act Young Adult Provision Affect Labor Market Outcomes? Analysis Using Tax Data," NBER Working Papers 23471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Fairlie, Robert W. & Kapur, Kanika & Gates, Susan, 2011. "Is employer-based health insurance a barrier to entrepreneurship?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 146-162, January.
    3. Fossen, Frank M. & König, Johannes, 2015. "Public health insurance and entry into self-employment," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112934, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. 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.
    5. Scott Shane, 2009. "Why encouraging more people to become entrepreneurs is bad public policy," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 141-149, August.
    6. repec:kap:sbusec:v:49:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11187-017-9856-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Zissimopoulos, Julie M. & Karoly, Lynn A., 2007. "Transitions to self-employment at older ages: The role of wealth, health, health insurance and other factors," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 269-295, April.
    8. Gumus, Gulcin & Regan, Tracy L., 2015. "Self-employment and the role of health insurance in the U.S," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 357-374.
    9. Velamuri, Malathi, 2009. "Taxes, Health Insurance and Women's Self-Employment," MPRA Paper 50474, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Apr 2012.
    10. Bradley Heim, 2015. "Understanding the decline in self-employment among individuals nearing retirement," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 561-580, October.
    11. Tuzemen, Didem & Becker, Thealexa, 2014. "Self-employment and health care reform: evidence from Massachusetts," Research Working Paper RWP 14-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    12. Bradley Heim & Ithai Lurie, 2014. "Does health reform affect self-employment? Evidence from Massachusetts," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 43(4), pages 917-930, December.
    13. Wellington, Alison J., 2006. "Self-employment: the new solution for balancing family and career?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 357-386, June.
    14. Baozhong Su & Gatwaza Hategekimana Thierry & Qihui Chen & Qiran Zhao, 2017. "The New Cooperative Medical Scheme and Self-Employment in Rural China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(2), pages 1-10, February.
    15. repec:kap:sbusec:v:49:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11187-017-9843-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Nga Le Thi Quynh & Groot, Wim & Tomini, Sonila M. & Tomini, Florian, 2017. "Effects of health insurance on labour supply: A systematic review," MERIT Working Papers 017, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    17. 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).
    18. 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.

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