Health Insurance and Productivity: Evidence from the Manufacturing Sector
This paper examines the relationship between employer-sponsored offers of health insurance and establishments’ labor productivity. Our empirical work is based on unique plant level data that links the 1997 and 2002 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey-Insurance Component with the 1992, 1997, and 2002 Census of Manufactures. These linked data provide information on employer-provided insurance and productivity. We find that health insurance offers are positively associated with levels of establishments’ labor productivity. These findings hold for all manufacturers as well as those with fewer than 100 employees. Our preliminary results also show a drop in health care costs from the 75th to the 25th percentile would increase the probability of a plant offering insurance by 1.5-2.0 percent in both 1997 and 2002. The results from this paper provide encouraging and new empirical evidence on the benefits employers may reap by offering health insurance to workers.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2009|
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