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Household Search and Health Insurance Coverage

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  • Matthew Dey
  • Christopher Flinn

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Dey & Christopher Flinn, 2007. "Household Search and Health Insurance Coverage," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 56, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  • Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:56
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rendon Sílvio, 2006. "Job Search And Asset Accumulation Under Borrowing Constraints ," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(1), pages 233-263, February.
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    5. 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.
    6. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Household Search; Health Insurance Provision; Marginal Willingness to Pay;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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