Employer Health Insurance Mandates and the Risk of Unemployment
Employer health insurance mandates form the basis of many health care reform proposals. Proponents make the case that they will increase insurance, while opponents raise the concern that low-wage workers will see offsetting reductions in their wages and that in the presence of minimum wage laws some of the lowest wage workers will become unemployed. We construct an estimate of the number of workers whose wages are so close to the minimum wage that they cannot be lowered to absorb the cost of health insurance, using detailed data on wages, health insurance, and demographics from the Current Population Survey. We find that 33 percent of uninsured workers earn within $3 of the minimum wage, putting them at risk of unemployment if their employers were required to offer insurance. Assuming an elasticity of employment with respect to minimum wage increase of -0.10, we estimate that 0.2 percent of all full-time workers and 1.4 percent of uninsured full-time workers would lose their jobs because of a health insurance mandate. Workers who would lose their jobs are disproportionately likely to be high school dropouts, minority, and female. This risk of unemployment should be a crucial component in the evaluation of both the effectiveness and distributional implications of these policies relative to alternatives such as tax credits, Medicaid expansions, and individual mandates, and their broader effects on the well-being of low-wage workers.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 11 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=1098-1616|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Currie, Janet & Madrian, Brigitte C., 1999.
"Health, health insurance and the labor market,"
Handbook of Labor Economics,
in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 50, pages 3309-3416
- Jonathan Gruber & Alan B. Krueger, 1991.
"The Incidence of Mandated Employer-Provided Insurance: Lessons from Workers' Compensation Insurance,"
in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 5, pages 111-144
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jonathan Gruber & Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "The Incidence of Mandated Employer-Provided Insurance: Lessons from Workers' Compensation Insurance," NBER Working Papers 3557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Norman K. Thurston, 1997. "Labor Market Effects of Hawaii'S Mandatory Employer-Provided Health Insurance," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(1), pages 117-135, October.
- Katherine Baicker & Amitabh Chandra, 2005.
"The Labor Market Effects of Rising Health Insurance Premiums,"
NBER Working Papers
11160, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Katherine Baicker & Amitabh Chandra, 2006. "The Labor Market Effects of Rising Health Insurance Premiums," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 609-634, July.
- 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.
- Brown, Charles, 1999. "Minimum wages, employment, and the distribution of income," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 32, pages 2101-2163 Elsevier.
- Summers, Lawrence H, 1989. "Some Simple Economics of Mandated Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 177-83, May.
- Peter R. Mueser & Kyung-Seong Jeon & Andrew Dyke & Carolyn J. Heinrich & Kenneth R. Troske, 2006.
"The Effects of Welfare-to-Work Program Activities on Labor Market Outcomes,"
0602, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
- Andrew Dyke & Carolyn J. Heinrich & Peter R. Mueser & Kenneth R. Troske & Kyung-Seong Jeon, 2006. "The Effects of Welfare-to-Work Program Activities on Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 567-608, July.
- Dyke, Andrew & Heinrich, Carolyn J. & Mueser, Peter R. & Troske, Kenneth, 2005. "The Effects of Welfare-to-Work Program Activities on Labor Market Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 1520, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Price V. Fishback & Shawn Everett Kantor, 1994.
"Did Workers Pay for the Passage of Workers' Compensation Laws?,"
NBER Working Papers
4947, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Price V. Fishback & Shawn Everett Kantor, 1995. "Did Workers Pay for the Passage of Workers' Compensation Laws?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 713-742.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:rmgtin:v:11:y:2008:i:1:p:109-132. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)or (Christopher F Baum)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.