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Household search and health insurance coverage

  • Dey, Matthew
  • Flinn, Christopher

Health insurance in the United States is typically acquired through an employer-sponsored program. Often an employee offerred employer-provided health insurance has the option to extend coverage to their spouse and dependents. We investigate the implications of the “publicness” of health insurance coverage for the labor market careers of spouses. The theoretical innovations in the paper are to extend the standard partial-partial equilibrium labor market search model to a multiple searcher setting with the inclusion of multi-attribute job offers, with some of the attributes treated as public goods within the household. The model is estimated using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) using a Method of Simulated Moments (MSM) estimator. We demonstrate how previous estimates of the marginal willingness to pay (MWP) for health insurance based on cross-sectional linear regression estimators may be seriously biased due to the presence of dynamic selection effects and misspecification of the decision-making unit.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 145 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1-2 (July)
Pages: 43-63

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Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:145:y:2008:i:1-2:p:43-63
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jeconom

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  1. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-73, May.
  2. Matthew S. Dey & Christopher J. Flinn, 2005. "An Equilibrium Model of Health Insurance Provision and Wage Determination," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 571-627, 03.
  3. Craig A. Olson, 1998. "A comparison of parametric and semiparametric estimates of the effect of spousal health insurance coverage on weekly hours worked by wives," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(5), pages 543-565.
  4. Silvio Rendon, 2002. "Job search and asset accumulation under borrowing constraints," Economics Working Papers 649, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  5. James J. Heckman & Christopher J. Flinn, 1982. "New Methods for Analyzing Structural Models of Labor Force Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 0856, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. J. Ignacio Garcia-Perez & Silvio Rendon, 2004. "Family job search and consumption: the added worker effect revisited," 2004 Meeting Papers 518, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Timothy J. Gronberg & W. Robert Reed, 1994. "Estimating Workers' Marginal Willingness to Pay for Job Attributes Using Duration Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(3), pages 911-931.
  8. Jonathan Gruber, 2002. "Taxes and Health Insurance," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 16, pages 37-66 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Hwang, Hae-shin & Mortensen, Dale T & Reed, W Robert, 1998. "Hedonic Wages and Labor Market Search," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(4), pages 815-47, October.
  10. Royalty, Anne Beeson & Abraham, Jean M., 2006. "Health insurance and labor market outcomes: Joint decision-making within households," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1561-1577, September.
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