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Self-Employment and the Role of Health Insurance

  • Gulcin Gumus


    (Department of Health Policy and Management, Department of Economics, Florida International University, and IZA, Bonn, Germany)

  • Tracy Regan


    (Department of Economics, University of Miami)

We investigate the effect of health insurance on labor market transitions in and out of self-employment as well as on the likelihood of being self-employed. We consider the role of individual health insurance coverage along with that from a spouse. Next, we examine a series of tax deductions granted to the self-employed through amendments made to the 1986 Tax Reform Act. Using data from the Current Population Survey for 1996-2007, we find significant but small effects of the after-tax health insurance premium on the entry rate, with no effect on exits from self-employment or the likelihood of being self-employed.

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File Function: First Version, 2007; Revised Version, 2009
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Paper provided by University of Miami, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0910.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming: Under Review
Handle: RePEc:mia:wpaper:0910
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  1. Thomas C. Buchmueller & Robert G. Valletta, 1996. "The Effects of Employer-Provided Health Insurance on Worker Mobility," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 49(3), pages 439-455, April.
  2. Donald Bruce & Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Joseph F. Quinn, 2000. "Self-Employment and Labor Market Transitions at Older Ages," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 490, Boston College Department of Economics.
  3. Jonathan Gruber & Robin McKnight, 2002. "Why Did Employee Health Insurance Contributions Rise?," NBER Working Papers 8878, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Philip DeCicca, 2010. "Health Insurance Availability and Entrepreneurship," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 10-167, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  5. Helen Levy, 2006. "Health Insurance and the Wage Gap," NBER Working Papers 11975, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Donna B. Gilleskie & Byron F. Lutz, 1999. "The Impact of Employer-Provided Health Insurance on Dynamic Employment Transitions," NBER Working Papers 7307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Melissa A. Thomasson, 2000. "The Importance of Group Coverage: How Tax Policy Shaped U.S. Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 7543, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Helen Levy, 1998. "Who Pays for Health Insurance? Employee Contributions to Health Insurance Premiums," Working Papers 777, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  9. Scott J. Adams, 2004. "Employer-provided Health Insurance and Job Change," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(3), pages 357-369, 07.
  10. R. Glenn Hubbard & William M. Gentry, 2000. "Tax Policy and Entrepreneurial Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 283-287, May.
  11. Fairlie, Robert W. & Kapur, Kanika & Gates, Susan, 2010. "Is Employer-Based Health Insurance a Barrier to Entrepreneurship?," IZA Discussion Papers 5203, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Taylor, Mark P, 1999. "Survival of the Fittest? An Analysis of Self-Employment Duration in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages C140-55, March.
  13. Mark C. Berger & Dan A. Black & Frank A. Scott, 2004. "Is There Job Lock? Evidence from the Pre-HIPAA Era," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 953-976, April.
  14. Heim, Bradley T. & Lurie, Ithai Z., 2009. "Do increased premium subsidies affect how much health insurance is purchased? Evidence from the self-employed," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 1197-1210, December.
  15. Velamuri, Malathi, 2009. "Taxes, Health Insurance and Women's Self-Employment," MPRA Paper 50474, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Apr 2012.
  16. Gumus, Gulcin & Regan, Tracy L., 2007. "Tax Incentives as a Solution to the Uninsured: Evidence from the Self-Employed," IZA Discussion Papers 2866, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Bruce, Donald, 2000. "Effects of the United States tax system on transitions into self-employment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 545-574, September.
  18. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
  19. Thomasson, Melissa A., 2002. "From Sickness to Health: The Twentieth-Century Development of U.S. Health Insurance," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 233-253, July.
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