IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Union effects on health insurance provision and coverage in the United States

  • Thomas C. Buchmueller
  • John DiNardo
  • Robert G. Valletta

During the past two decades, union density has declined in the United States and employer provision of health benefits has changed substantially in extent and form. Using individual survey data spanning the years 1983-97 combined with employer survey data for 1993, the authors update and extend previous analyses of private-sector union effects on employer-provided health benefits. They find that the union effect on health insurance coverage rates has fallen somewhat but remains large, due to an increase over time in the union effect on employee 'take-up' of offered insurance, and that declining unionization explains 20-35% of the decline in employee health coverage. The increasing union take-up effect is linked to union effects on employees' direct costs for health insurance and the availability of retiree coverage. (Author's abstract.)

To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

Volume (Year): 55 (2002)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 610-627

in new window

Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:55:y:2002:i:4:p:610-627
Contact details of provider: Fax: 607-255-8016
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Postal: 381 Ives East, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-3901
Web: Email:

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.:

as in new window
  1. Ronald Oaxaca, 1971. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," Working Papers 396, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. Valletta, Robert G, 1999. "Declining Job Security," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages S170-97, October.
  3. Neumark, David & Polsky, Daniel & Hansen, Daniel, 1999. "Has Job Stability Declined Yet? New Evidence for the 1990s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages S29-64, October.
  4. Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 1997. "Institutional Changes and Rising Wage Inequality: Is There a Linkage?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 75-96, Spring.
  5. Nidardo, J. & Fortin, N. & Lemieux, T., 1994. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Papers 93-94-15, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  6. Hwang, Hae-shin & Reed, W Robert & Hubbard, Carlton, 1992. "Compensating Wage Differentials and Unobserved Productivity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 835-58, August.
  7. Janet Currie & Aaron S. Yelowitz, 1999. "Health Insurance and Less Skilled Workers," JCPR Working Papers 63, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  8. John DiNardo & Thomas Lemieux, 1997. "Diverging male wage inequality in the United States and Canada, 1981-1988: Do institutions explain the difference?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(4), pages 629-651, July.
  9. Gerald S. Goldstein & Mark V. Pauly, 1976. "Group Health Insurance as a Local Public Good," NBER Chapters, in: The Role of Health Insurance in the Health Services Sector, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Even, William E. & Macpherson, David A., 1991. "The impact of unionism on fringe benefit coverage," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 87-91, May.
  11. 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..
  12. Shulamit Kahn, 1990. "What Occupational Safety Tells Us about Political Power in Union Firms," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(3), pages 481-496, Autumn.
  13. Shore-Sheppard, Lara & Buchmueller, Thomas C. & Jensen, Gail A., 2000. "Medicaid and crowding out of private insurance: a re-examination using firm level data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 61-91, January.
  14. Richard B. Freeman, 1981. "The effect of unionism on fringe benefits," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 34(4), pages 489-509, July.
  15. Bramley, Donald G. & Wunnava, Phanindra V. & Robinson, Michael D., 1989. "A note on union-non-union benefit differentials and size of establishment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 85-88.
  16. Macpherson, David A., 1992. "Employer-provided retiree health insurance: Who is covered?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 95-99, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:55:y:2002:i:4:p:610-627. 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: (ILR Review)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.