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Who Gets What from Employer Pay or Play Mandates?

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  • Richard V. Burkhauser
  • Kosali I. Simon

Abstract

Critics of pay or play mandates, borrowing from the large empirical minimum wage literature, provide evidence that they reduce employment. Borrowing from a smaller empirical minimum wage literature, we provide evidence that they also are a blunt instrument for funding health insurance for the working poor. The vast majority of those who benefit from pay or play mandates which require employers to either provide appropriate health insurance for their workers or pay a flat per hour tax to offset the cost of health care live in families with incomes twice the poverty line or more and, depending on how coverage is determined, the mandate will leave a significant share of the working poor ineligible for such benefits either because their hourly wage rate is too high or they work for smaller exempt firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard V. Burkhauser & Kosali I. Simon, 2007. "Who Gets What from Employer Pay or Play Mandates?," NBER Working Papers 13578, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13578
    Note: HC HE
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & Thomas Lemieux & David N. Margolis, 2000. "Minimum Wages and Youth Employment in France and the United States," NBER Chapters,in: Youth Employment and Joblessness in Advanced Countries, pages 427-472 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. David Neumark & William L. Wascher, 2008. "Minimum Wages," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262141027, January.
    3. David Neumark & Mark Schweitzer & William Wascher, 2005. "The Effects of Minimum Wages on the Distribution of Family Incomes: A Nonparametric Analysis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(4), pages 867-894.
    4. Katherine Baicker & Helen Levy, 2008. "Employer Health Insurance Mandates and the Risk of Unemployment," Risk Management and Insurance Review, American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 11(1), pages 109-132, March.
    5. Janet Currie & Bruce C. Fallick, 1996. "The Minimum Wage and the Employment of Youth Evidence from the NLSY," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(2), pages 404-428.
    6. Brown, Charles & Gilroy, Curtis & Kohen, Andrew, 1982. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on Employment and Unemployment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 487-528, June.
    7. V. Joseph Hotz, 2003. "The Earned Income Tax Credit," NBER Chapters,in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 141-198 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. R. V. Burkhauser & K. A. Couch & A. J. Glenn, "undated". "Public policies for the working poor: The earned income tax credit versus minimum wage legislation," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1074-95, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    9. Neumark, David & Wascher, William L., 2007. "Minimum Wages and Employment," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 3(1–2), pages 1-182, March.
    10. David Neumark & DMark Schweitzer & DaWilliam Wascher, 2004. "Minimum Wage Effects throughout the Wage Distribution," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
    11. Bell, David N.F. & Blanchflower, David G., 2011. "Youth Unemployment in Europe and the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 5673, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Richard V. Burkhauser & T. Aldrich Finegan, 1989. "The minimum wage and the poor: The end of a relationship," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 53-71.
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    Cited by:

    1. Neumark, David & Kolko, Jed, 2010. "Do enterprise zones create jobs? Evidence from California's enterprise zone program," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 1-19, July.
    2. Richard V. Burkhauser & Sean Lyons & Kosali I. Simon, 2011. "The Importance of the Meaning and Measurement of "Affordable" in the Affordable Care Act," NBER Working Papers 17279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Thomas C. Buchmueller & John DiNardo & Robert G. Valletta, 2011. "The Effect of an Employer Health Insurance Mandate on Health Insurance Coverage and the Demand for Labor: Evidence from Hawaii," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 25-51, November.
    4. Richard V. Burkhauser & Jeff Larrimore & Kosali Simon, 2013. "Measuring The Impact Of Valuing Health Insurance On Levels And Trends In Inequality And How The Affordable Care Act Of 2010 Could Affect Them," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(4), pages 779-794, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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