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Macroeconomic Conditions, Health Care Costs, and the Distribution of Health Insurance

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  • Sherry Glied
  • Kathrine Jack

Abstract

Prior studies have examined the relationship between macroeconomic factors and health insurance for the adult population and have evaluated changes in the composition of health insurance across the income distribution. We combine these types of analysis and examine how labor market fluctuations, health care costs, income, and economic structure are related to the distribution of health insurance coverage across educational groups. We find that there are substantial differences in how these factors affect insurance coverage for different groups. Variations in unemployment are more important in determining insurance coverage for more educated people. The price of medical care, by contrast, is a much more important determinant of private coverage for the least educated than for the most educated. This finding is consistent with differences in the valuation of cost-increasing health care technologies across education groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Sherry Glied & Kathrine Jack, 2003. "Macroeconomic Conditions, Health Care Costs, and the Distribution of Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 10029, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10029
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10029.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gruber, Jonathan & Madrian, Brigitte C., 1997. "Employment separation and health insurance coverage," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 349-382, December.
    2. John Cawley & Kosali I. Simon, 2003. "The Impact of Macroeconomic Conditions on the Health Insurance Coverage of Americans," NBER Chapters,in: Frontiers in Health Policy Research, Volume 6, pages 87-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. David M. Cutler & Jonathan Gruber, 1996. "Does Public Insurance Crowd out Private Insurance?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 391-430.
    4. Nyman, John A., 1999. "The economics of moral hazard revisited," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 811-824, December.
    5. Francesco Squintani, 1999. "Moral Hazard," Discussion Papers 1269, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stephen Barnes & Dek Terrell, 2009. "The Impact of the Labor Market on Health Insurance," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 328-339, December.
    2. Chernew, Michael & Cutler, David & Keenan, Patricia S., 2005. "Increasing Health Insurance Costs and the Decline in Health Insurance Coverage," Scholarly Articles 2660660, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    3. Cawley, John & Simon, Kosali I., 2005. "Health insurance coverage and the macroeconomy," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 299-315, March.
    4. Buchmueller Thomas C & Lo Sasso Anthony T & Wong Kathleen N, 2008. "How Did SCHIP Affect the Insurance Coverage of Immigrant Children?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(2), pages 1-25, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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