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Happiness and Health Care Coverage

Author

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  • Blanchflower, David G.

    () (Dartmouth College)

Abstract

In this paper I examine the characteristics of adults who report on whether they have health care coverage and of people who say that they are unable to see a doctor over the preceding year because of the cost. I make use of a unique data set, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a phone survey undertaken in the United States for the years 2005-2009. I find evidence that not having the ability to see a doctor because of an inability to pay is a major and substantial source of unhappiness in the United States, even for people with high income.

Suggested Citation

  • Blanchflower, David G., 2009. "Happiness and Health Care Coverage," IZA Discussion Papers 4450, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4450
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
    2. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Is well-being U-shaped over the life cycle?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(8), pages 1733-1749, April.
    3. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2009. "The U-Shape without Controls," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 896, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    4. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald & Bert Van Landeghem, 2009. "Imitative Obesity and Relative Utility," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 528-538, 04-05.
    5. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-659, May.
    6. Alesina, Alberto & Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2004. "Inequality and happiness: are Europeans and Americans different?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2009-2042, August.
    7. Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2005. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 963-1002.
    8. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
    9. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
    10. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2006. "Some Uses of Happiness Data in Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 25-46, Winter.
    11. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2007. "Happiness, Contentment and Other Emotions for Central Banks," NBER Working Papers 13622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paul, Hagstrom & Stephen, Wu, 2010. "Are Pregnant Women Happier? Racial Differences in the Relationsip Between Pregnancy and Life Satisfaction," MPRA Paper 24853, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Yakovlev, Pavel & Leguizamon, Susane, 2012. "Ignorance is not bliss: On the role of education in subjective well-being," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 806-815.
    3. Lewis Davis & Stephen Wu, 2014. "Social Comparisons and Life Satisfaction Across Racial and Ethnic Groups: The Effects of Status, Information and Solidarity," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 117(3), pages 849-869, July.
    4. Paul Hagstrom & Stephen Wu, 2016. "Are pregnant women happier? Racial and ethnic differences in the relationship between pregnancy and life satisfaction in the United States," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 507-527, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    life satisfaction; health care coverage;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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