IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/elo/wpaper/2008-04.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Macroeconomic Consequences of Financing Health Insurance

Author

Listed:
  • Stephen B. DeLoach

    (Department of Economics, Elon University)

  • Jennifer M. Platania

    (Department of Economics, Elon University)

Abstract

Employer-financed health insurance systems, like that used in the United States, distort firms' labor demand and adversely affect the economy. Since such costs vary with employment rather than hours worked, firms have an incentive to increase output by increasing worker hours rather than employment. Given that the returns to employment exceed the returns to hours worked, this results in lower levels of employment and output. In this paper we construct a heterogeneous agent general equilibrium model where individuals differ with respect to their productivity and employment opportunities. Calibrating the model to the U.S. economy, we generate steady state results for several alternative models for financing health insurance: one in which health insurance is financed primarily through employer contributions that vary with employment; a second where insurance is funded through a non-distortionary, lump-sum tax; and a third where insurance is funded by a payroll tax. We measure the effects of each of the alternatives on output, employment, hours worked and inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen B. DeLoach & Jennifer M. Platania, 2008. "The Macroeconomic Consequences of Financing Health Insurance," Working Papers 2008-04, Elon University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:elo:wpaper:2008-04
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://org.elon.edu/econ/WPS/wp2008-04.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2008
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hamermesh Daniel S. & Slemrod Joel B, 2008. "The Economics of Workaholism: We Should Not Have Worked on This Paper," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-30, January.
    2. Gruber, Jonathan & Madrian, Brigitte C., 1997. "Employment separation and health insurance coverage," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 349-382, December.
    3. David M. Blau & Donna B. Gilleskie, 2001. "Retiree Health Insurance and the Labor Force Behavior of Older Men in the 1990s," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 64-80, February.
    4. Robert S. Smith & Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 1983. "Estimating Wage-Fringe Trade-Offs: Some Data Problems," NBER Chapters, in: The Measurement of Labor Cost, pages 347-370, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. repec:eee:labchp:v:1:y:1986:i:c:p:473-522 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Katherine Baicker & Amitabh Chandra, 2005. "The Consequences of the Growth of Health Insurance Premiums," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 214-218, May.
    7. Jeske, Karsten & Kitao, Sagiri, 2009. "U.S. tax policy and health insurance demand: Can a regressive policy improve welfare?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 210-221, March.
    8. David Altig, 2001. "Simulating Fundamental Tax Reform in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 574-595, June.
    9. Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 622-641, June.
    10. Arnold C. Harberger, 1962. "The Incidence of the Corporation Income Tax," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 215-215.
    11. 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, Elsevier.
    12. Terry J. Fitzgerald, 1996. "Reducing working hours," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q IV, pages 13-22.
    13. Steven P. Cassou & Kevin J. Lansing, 2004. "Growth Effects of Shifting from a Graduated-rate Tax System to a Flat Tax," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(2), pages 194-213, April.
    14. David M. Cutler & Brigitte C. Madrian, 1998. "Labor Market Responses to Rising Health Insurance Costs: Evidence on Hours Worked," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(3), pages 509-530, Autumn.
    15. 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.
    16. Aaron S. Yelowitz, 1995. "The Medicaid Notch, Labor Supply, and Welfare Participation: Evidence from Eligibility Expansions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 909-939.
    17. FitzRoy, Felix R & Hart, Robert A, 1985. "Hours, Layoffs and Unemployment Insurance Funding: Theory and Practice in an International Perspective," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(379), pages 700-713, September.
    18. Brigitte C. Madrian, 1994. "Employment-Based Health Insurance and Job Mobility: Is there Evidence of Job-Lock?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 27-54.
    19. Thomas C. Buchmueller & Robert G. Valletta, 1999. "The Effect of Health Insurance on Married Female Labor Supply," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 42-70.
    20. Alessandra Del Boca & Paola Rota, 1998. "How Much Does Hiring and Firing Cost? Survey Evidence from a Sample of Italian Firms," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 12(3), pages 427-449, September.
    21. Madrian, Brigitte & Cutler, David, 1998. "Labor Market Responses to Rising Health Insurance Costs," Scholarly Articles 2643643, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    22. Walter Y. Oi, 1962. "Labor as a Quasi-Fixed Factor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 538-538.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Grace Weishi Gu, 2018. "Employment and the Cyclical Cost of Worker Benefits," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 28, pages 96-120, April.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. repec:kap:iaecre:v:19:y:2013:i:2:p:107-129 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Brigitte C. Madrian, 2005. "The U.S. health care system and labor markets," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 50(Jun), pages 137-163.
    3. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pc:p:3309-3416 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Jonathan Gruber, 1998. "Health Insurance and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 6762, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Bradley Heim & Ithai Lurie & Kosali Simon, 2015. "The Impact of the Affordable Care Act Young Adult Provision on Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from Tax Data," Tax Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 133-157.
    6. Nga Le Thi Quynh & Groot, Wim & Tomini, Sonila M. & Tomini, Florian, 2017. "Effects of health insurance on labour supply: A systematic review," MERIT Working Papers 2017-017, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    7. Jonathan Gruber & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2002. "Health Insurance, Labor Supply, and Job Mobility: A Critical Review of the Literature," NBER Working Papers 8817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Grace Weishi Gu, 2018. "Employment and the Cyclical Cost of Worker Benefits," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 28, pages 96-120, April.
    9. Maclean, J. Catherine & Webber, Douglas A., 2019. "Government Regulation and Lifecycle Wages: Evidence from Continuing Coverage Mandates," IZA Discussion Papers 12464, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Feng, Zhigang & Zhao, Kai, 2018. "Employment-based health insurance and aggregate labor supply," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 156-174.
    11. Lehrer, Steven F. & Pereira, Nuno Sousa, 2007. "Worker sorting, compensating differentials and health insurance: Evidence from displaced workers," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 1034-1056, September.
    12. Bradley, Cathy J. & Bednarek, Heather L. & Neumark, David, 2002. "Breast cancer survival, work, and earnings," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 757-779, September.
    13. 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.
    14. DeVaro, Jed & Maxwell, Nan L., 2014. "The elusive wage-benefit trade-off: The case of employer-provided health insurance," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 23-37.
    15. Jonathan Gruber, 2003. "Medicaid," NBER Chapters, in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 15-78, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. David Zimmer, 2009. "Insurance Arrangements Among Married Couples: Analysis of Benefit Substitution and Compensating Differentials," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 428-439, December.
    17. Depew, Briggs, 2015. "The effect of state dependent mandate laws on the labor supply decisions of young adults," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 123-134.
    18. Craig Garthwaite & Tal Gross & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2014. "Public Health Insurance, Labor Supply, and Employment Lock," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(2), pages 653-696.
    19. Christine Jolls, 2007. "Employment Law and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 13230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Scott Adams & Benjamin Artz, 2015. "Health Insurance, Familial Responsibilities and Job Satisfaction," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 143-153, March.
    21. Laura Bucila, 2008. "Employment-Based Health Insurance and the Minimum Wage," Working Papers 0812, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
    22. Katherine Baicker & Amitabh Chandra, 2005. "The Consequences of the Growth of Health Insurance Premiums," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 214-218, May.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:elo:wpaper:2008-04. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/delonus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Jim Barbour (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/delonus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.