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

  • Sherry Glied
  • Kathrine Jack
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    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.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10029.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10029.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10029
    Note: HC
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. Cutler, David M & Gruber, Jonathan, 1996. "Does Public Insurance Crowd Out Private Insurance?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 391-430, May.
    2. Nyman, John A., 1999. "The economics of moral hazard revisited," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 811-824, December.
    3. David H. Autor & Mark G. Duggan, 2003. "The Rise In The Disability Rolls And The Decline In Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 157-205, February.
    4. Francesco Squintani, 1999. "Moral Hazard," Discussion Papers 1269, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    5. Cawley John & Simon Kosali I., 2003. "The Impact of Macroeconomic Conditions on the Health Insurance Coverage of Americans," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-30, January.
    6. Gruber, Jonathan & Madrian, Brigitte C., 1997. "Employment separation and health insurance coverage," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 349-382, December.
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