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The ACA: Some Unpleasant Welfare Arithmetic

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  • Casey B. Mulligan

Abstract

Under the Affordable Care Act, between six and eleven million workers would increase their disposable income by cutting their weekly work hours. About half of them would primarily do so by making themselves eligible for the ACA's federal assistance with health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket health costs, despite the fact that subsidized workers are not able to pay health premiums with pre-tax dollars. The remainder would do so primarily by relieving their employers from penalties, or the threat of penalties, pursuant to the ACA's employer mandate. Women, especially those who are not married, are more likely than men to have their short-term financial reward to full-time work eliminated by the ACA. Additional workers, beyond the six to eleven million, could increase their disposable income by using reduced hours to climb one of the "cliffs" that are part of the ACA's mapping from household income to federal assistance.

Suggested Citation

  • Casey B. Mulligan, 2014. "The ACA: Some Unpleasant Welfare Arithmetic," NBER Working Papers 20020, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20020
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Holt, Stephen D. & Romich, Jennifer L., 2007. "Marginal Tax Rates Facing Low– and Moderate–Income Workers Who Participate in Means–Tested Transfer Programs," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 60(2), pages 253-276, June.
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. ACA and EMTRs
      by Eric Crampton in Offsetting Behaviour on 2014-04-11 09:02:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Casey B. Mulligan, 2014. "The Economics of Work Schedules under the New Hours and Employment Taxes," NBER Working Papers 19936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Casey B. Mulligan, 2013. "Uncertainty, Redistribution, and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 19553, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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