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The Impact of the Macroeconomy on Health Insurance Coverage: Evidence from the Great Recession

Author

Listed:
  • Cawley, John

    () (Cornell University)

  • Moriya, Asako S.

    () (Carnegie Mellon University)

  • Simon, Kosali

    () (Indiana University)

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of the macroeconomy on the health insurance coverage of Americans using panel data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) for 2004-2010, a period that includes the Great Recession of 2007-09. We find that a one percentage point increase in the state unemployment rate is associated with a 1.67 percentage point (2.12%) reduction in the probability that men have health insurance; this effect is strongest among college-educated, white, and older (50-64 year old) men. We estimate that 9.3 million Americans, the vast majority of whom were adult men, lost health insurance due to a higher unemployment rate alone during the 2007-09 recession. We conclude with a discussion of how components of recent health care reform may influence this relationship in the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Cawley, John & Moriya, Asako S. & Simon, Kosali, 2011. "The Impact of the Macroeconomy on Health Insurance Coverage: Evidence from the Great Recession," IZA Discussion Papers 6124, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6124
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    Cited by:

    1. Joan Costa-Font & Martin Karlsson & Henning Øien, 2015. "Informal Care and the Great Recession," CINCH Working Paper Series 1502, Universitaet Duisburg-Essen, Competent in Competition and Health, revised Feb 2015.
    2. Ezra Golberstein & Gilbert Gonzales & Ellen Meara, 2016. "Economic Conditions and Children's Mental Health," NBER Working Papers 22459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Marianne Page & Jessamyn Schaller & David Simon, 2016. "The Effects of Aggregate and Gender-Specific Labor Demand Shocks on Child Health," NBER Working Papers 22394, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. repec:wly:hlthec:v:25:y:2016:i::p:25-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Johanna Maclean, 2014. "Does leaving school in an economic downturn impact access to employer-sponsored health insurance?," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-27, December.
    6. Courtney C. Coile & Phillip B. Levine & Robin McKnight, 2014. "Recessions, Older Workers, and Longevity: How Long Are Recessions Good for Your Health?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 92-119, August.
    7. Bradley, Cathy J. & Neumark, David & Barkowski, Scott, 2013. "Does employer-provided health insurance constrain labor supply adjustments to health shocks? New evidence on women diagnosed with breast cancer," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 833-849.
    8. Alex Hollingsworth & Christopher J. Ruhm & Kosali Simon, 2017. "Macroeconomic Conditions and Opioid Abuse," NBER Working Papers 23192, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Sheila Hoag & Sean Orzol & Margaret Colby & Adam Swinburn & Fredric Blavin & Genevieve M. Kenney & Michael Huntress, 2012. "CHIPRA Mandated Evaluation of Express Lane Eligibility First Year Findings," Mathematica Policy Research Reports ea8d230cec104e90ad417b32a, Mathematica Policy Research.
    10. Joan Costa‐Font & Martin Karlsson & Henning Øien, 2016. "Careful in the Crisis? Determinants of Older People's Informal Care Receipt in Crisis‐Struck European Countries," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25, pages 25-42, November.
    11. Kristopher J. Hult & Tomas J. Philipson, 2012. "Public Liabilities and Health Care Policy," NBER Working Papers 18571, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Tekin, Erdal & McClellan, Chandler & Minyard, Karen Jean, 2013. "Health and Health Behaviors during the Worst of Times: Evidence from the Great Recession," IZA Discussion Papers 7538, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Jofre-Bonet, M. & Serra-Sastre, V. & Vandoros, S., 2016. "Better Health in Times of Hardship?," Working Papers 16/09, Department of Economics, City University London.
    14. Carpenter, Christopher S. & McClellan, Chandler B. & Rees, Daniel I., 2017. "Economic conditions, illicit drug use, and substance use disorders in the United States," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 63-73.
    15. Jonathan H. Cantor & Brady P. Horn & Johanna Catherine Maclean, 2013. "Recessions and Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment," NBER Working Papers 19115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Johanna Catherine Maclean & Jonathan H. Cantor & Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, 2015. "Economic downturns and substance abuse treatment: Evidence from admissions data," DETU Working Papers 1504, Department of Economics, Temple University.
    17. Erdal Tekin & Chandler McClellan & Karen Jean Minyard, 2013. "Health and Health Behaviors during the Worst of Times," NBER Working Papers 19234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Sheila Hoag & Adam Swinburn & Sean Orzol & Michael Barna & Maggie Colby & Brenda Natzke & Christopher Trenholm & Fredric Blavin & Genevieve M. Kenney & Michale Huntress & Others, 2013. "CHIPRA Mandated Evaluation of Express Lane Eligibility: Final Findings," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 257e261f5ab440728eb301712, Mathematica Policy Research.
    19. Charters, Thomas J. & Harper, Sam & Strumpf, Erin C. & Subramanian, S.V. & Arcaya, Mariana & Nandi, Arijit, 2016. "The effect of metropolitan-area mortgage delinquency on health behaviors, access to health services, and self-rated health in the United States, 2003–2010," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 74-82.
    20. repec:mpr:mprres:8009 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Scott Crosson, 2016. "The Affordable Care Act and Opportunities for Change in North Carolina’s Commercial Fisheries," Marine Resource Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(2), pages 121-129.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    unemployment; recession; health insurance; Medicaid; SCHIP;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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