Health Insurance and the Wage Gap
Estimates of labor market inequality usually focus only on wages, even though fringes account for almost one-third of total compensation. Using data from the Current Population Survey, I analyze coverage by own-employer health insurance coverage among full-time workers for women versus men, blacks versus whites and Hispanics versus whites. I find significant gaps in coverage for each of these groups. About two-thirds of the gap for blacks or Hispanics is explained by differences in observable characteristics (primarily education and occupation). The gap for women is not explained by controlling for observables. Looking over the 20 year period from 1980 to 2000, I find that the adjusted gap in own-employer coverage for women has been relatively flat over this period and is consistently much smaller than the male/female wage gap (about half as large), so that measuring inequality in wages plus health insurance would result in a smaller estimate of male/female compensation inequality than measuring wages alone. The same is generally true for blacks although their health insurance gap is much closer in magnitude to their wage gap. For Hispanics, the health insurance gap is nearly identical to the wage gap and both are increasing over time.
|Date of creation:||Jan 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Note:||HE LS HC|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Charles Brown & James L. Medoff, 1989.
"The Employer Size-Wage Effect,"
NBER Working Papers
2870, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Eric Solberg & Teresa Laughlin, 1995. "The Gender Pay Gap, Fringe Benefits, and Occupational Crowding," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(4), pages 692-708, July.
- Farber, Henry S. & Levy, Helen, 2000.
"Recent trends in employer-sponsored health insurance coverage: are bad jobs getting worse?,"
Journal of Health Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 93-119, January.
- Henry S. Farber & Helen Levy, 1998. "Recent Trends in Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Coverage: Are Bad Jobs Getting Worse?," Working Papers 781, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- Henry S. Farber & Helen Levy, 1998. "Recent Trends in Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Coverage: Are Bad Jobs Getting Worse?," NBER Working Papers 6709, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Paul L. Schumann & Dennis A. Ahlburg & Christine Brown Mahoney, 1994. "The Effects of Human Capital and Job Characteristics on Pay," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 481-503.
- Derek A. Neal & William R. Johnson, 1995.
"The Role of Pre-Market Factors in Black-White Wage Differences,"
NBER Working Papers
5124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Neal, Derek A & Johnson, William R, 1996. "The Role of Premarket Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 869-95, October.
- Wankyo Chung, 2003. "Fringe Benefits and Inequality in the Labor Market," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(3), pages 517-529, July.
- Brown, Charles & Corcoran, Mary, 1997.
"Sex-Based Differences in School Content and the Male-Female Wage Gap,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 431-65, July.
- Charles Brown & Mary Corcoran, 1996. "Sex-Based Differences in School Content and the Male/Female Wage Gap," NBER Working Papers 5580, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David Card & Alan Krueger, 1990.
"School Quality and Black/White Relative Earnings: A Direct Assessment,"
652, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1992. "School Quality and Black-White Relative Earnings: A Direct Assessment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 151-200, February.
- David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1991. "School Quality and Black-White Relative Earnings: A Direct Assessment," NBER Working Papers 3713, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Brooks Pierce, 2001. "Compensation Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1493-1525, November.
- Eric Solberg & Teresa Laughlin, 1995. "The gender pay gap, fringe benefits, and occupational crowding," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(4), pages 692-708, July.
- Ronald L. Oaxaca & Michael R. Ransom, 1999. "Identification in Detailed Wage Decompositions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 154-157, February.
- Irena Dushi & Marjorie Honig, 2005. "Offers or Take-up: Explaining Minorities’ Lower Health Insurance Coverage," Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College 412, Hunter College Department of Economics.
- Randall K. Filer, 1985. "Male-female wage differences: The importance of compensating differentials," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 38(3), pages 426-437, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11975. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.