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Employment-Based Health Insurance and the Minimum Wage

  • Laura Bucila

    ()

    (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)

This paper provides new estimates of the effects of increased federal and state minimum wages on the employment-based health insurance coverage of low-wage workers. I use March Current Population Surveys collected from IPUMS, for 1988 to 2005. Previous studies have found no significant evidence that increased minimum wages reduce fringe benefit receipt (Beeson Royalty 2000; Simon and Kaestner 2003). In contrast to these studies, I use a difference-in-difference approach and I define treatment groups as being individuals in the lowest 1 and 2 deciles of the hourly wage distribution. Little evidence was found for the federal minimum wage increase of 1990-91, but estimates of the effect of the 1996-97 increase suggest a small negative impact for younger workers and workers in smaller firms. At the state level, I find more suggestive results of a negative impact of the minimum wage increases. New Jersey (1992) and Massachusetts (2000-2001) exhibit negative effects of being in the treatment group on the probability of having employment-based health insurance for most of the specifications, while the results in Oregon (1991) and Connecticut (2000-2001) are more sensitive to the specification. The results suggest that being in the treatment group makes individuals 3 to 4 percentage points less likely to be policyholders of employment-based health insurance compared to the control group.

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File URL: http://college.holycross.edu/RePEc/hcx/Bucila_InsuranceMinimumWage.pdf
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Paper provided by College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0812.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hcx:wpaper:0812
Contact details of provider: Phone: (508)793-3362
Fax: (508) 793-3708
Web page: http://www.holycross.edu/departments/economics/website/

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  1. Janet Currie & Bruce C. Fallick, 1996. "The Minimum Wage and the Employment of Youth Evidence from the NLSY," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(2), pages 404-428.
  2. Helen Levy, 2006. "Health Insurance and the Wage Gap," NBER Working Papers 11975, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1992. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on the Fast-Food Industry," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 6-21, October.
  4. repec:att:wimass:9512 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Brigitte C. Madrian, 1993. "Employment-Based Health Insurance and Job Mobility: Is There Evidence ofJob-Lock?," NBER Working Papers 4476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Cutler, David M & Gruber, Jonathan, 1996. "The Effect of Medicaid Expansions on Public Insurance, Private Insurance, and Redistribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 378-83, May.
  7. Chinhui Juhn & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 1991. "Why Has the Natural Rate of Unemployment Increased over Time?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 75-142.
  8. Jean Marie Abraham & William B. Vogt & Martin Gaynor, 2002. "Household Demand for Employer-Based Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 9144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Farber, Henry S. & Levy, Helen, 2000. "Recent trends in employer-sponsored health insurance coverage: are bad jobs getting worse?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 93-119, January.
  11. Anne Beeson Royalty, 2001. "Do Minimum Wage Increases Lower the Probability that Low-Skilled Workers Will Receive Fringe Benefits?," JCPR Working Papers 222, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  12. Jayanta Bhattacharya & William B. Vogt, 2006. "Employment and Adverse Selection in Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 12430, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Brown, Charles & Gilroy, Curtis & Kohen, Andrew, 1982. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on Employment and Unemployment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 487-528, June.
  14. Cutler, David M & Gruber, Jonathan, 1996. "Does Public Insurance Crowd Out Private Insurance?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 391-430, May.
  15. Kosali Ilayperuma Simon & Robert Kaestner, 2003. "Do Minimum Wages Affect Non-wage Job Attributes? Evidence on Fringe Benefits and Working Conditions," NBER Working Papers 9688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Marjorie Honig & Irena Dushi, 2005. "Household Demand for Health Insurance: Price and Spouse's Coverage," Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College 411, Hunter College Department of Economics.
  17. Betsey, Charles L & Dunson, Bruce H, 1981. "Federal Minimum Wage Laws and the Employment of Minority Youth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 379-84, May.
  18. Jonathan Gruber & Michael Lettau, 2000. "How Elastic is the Firm's Demand for Health Insurance?," NBER Working Papers 8021, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Brown, Charles, 1988. "Minimum Wage Laws: Are They Overrated?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 133-45, Summer.
  20. 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.
  21. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1993. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," Working Papers 694, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  22. John Kennan, 1995. "The Elusive Effects of Minimum Wages," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1950-1965, December.
  23. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. David Neumark & William L. Wascher, 2008. "Minimum Wages," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262141027, June.
  25. Behrman, Jere R & Sickles, Robin C & Taubman, Paul, 1983. "The Impact of Minimum Wages on the Distributions of Earnings for Major Race-Sex Groups: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 766-78, September.
  26. Alan C. Monheit & Jessica Primoff Vistnes, 1999. "Health Insurance Availability at the Workplace: How Important are Worker Preferences?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(4), pages 770-785.
  27. David Card, 1992. "Do Minimum Wages Reduce Employment? A Case Study of California, 1987–89," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 38-54, October.
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