The Efficiency of a Group-Specific Mandated Benefit: Evidence from Health Insurance Benefits for Maternity
I consider the effects of "group-specific mandated benefits", such as mandated maternity leave, which raise the costs of employing a demographically identifiable group. The efficiency of these policies, relative to more broad-based financing of benefits expansions, will largely be a function of the valuation of the mandated benefit by the targeted group. Such valuation should be reflected in substantial shifting of the cost of the mandate to groupspecific wages; however, there may be barriers to the adjustment of relative wages which impede such shifting. I study several 1976 state mandates which stipulated that childbirth be covered comprehensively in health insurance plans, increasing the cost of insuring women of child-bearing age by as much as 5 % of their wages. I find substantial shifting of the costs of these mandates to the wages of the targeted group. Correspondingly, I find little effect on total labor input for the group which benefitted from these mandates; hours rise and employment falls, as may be expected from an increase in the fixed costs of employment. These results are confirmed by using a 1978 Federal mandate as a "reverse experiment".
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References listed on IDEAS
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- Olivia S. Mitchell, 1990. "The Effects of Mandating Benefits Packages," NBER Working Papers 3260, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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NBER Working Papers
0316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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"State Mandated Benefits and Employer Provided Health Insurance,"
92-18, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Jonathan Gruber, 1992. "State Mandated Benefits and Employer Provided Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 4239, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- repec:fth:harver:1520 is not listed on IDEAS
- Jonathan Gruber & Alan B. Krueger, 1990.
"The Incidence of Mandated Employer-Provided Insurance: Lessons from Workers' Compensation Insurance,"
NBER Working Papers
3557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jonathan Gruber & Alan B. Krueger, 1991. "The Incidence of Mandated Employer-Provided Insurance: Lessons from Workers' Compensation Insurance," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 5, pages 111-144 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jonathan Gruber & Alan Krueger, 1990. "The Incidence of Mandated Employer-Provided Insurance: Lessons from Workers' Compensations Insurance," Working Papers 659, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- Summers, Lawrence H, 1989. "Some Simple Economics of Mandated Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 177-83, May.
- Arleen Leibowitz, 1983. "Fringe Benefits in Employee Compensation," NBER Chapters, in: The Measurement of Labor Cost, pages 371-394 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Feldstein, Martin S, 1973. "The Welfare Loss of Excess Health Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 251-80, Part I, M.
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