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The Effects of Mandating Benefits Packages

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  • Olivia S. Mitchell

Abstract

This paper identifies and, where possible, quantifies potential labor market consequences of government mandating of employee benefits. The author argues that mandating benefits could increase benefit coverage and generosity for numerous workers and their families. However, even when mandating benefits does improve benefit provision, there will be offsetting effects including wage and other benefit cuts, reduced work hours, reduced employment, and possibly output reductions in covered sectors. Employer bias against "expensive to insure" workers may also result, producing labor market sorting and segmentation. In addition, many workers currently without benefit coverage are employees of small firms, women, pan-time and minimum wage workers. Frequently, mandated benefit proposals exclude or reduce coverage for these workers to alleviate the financial burden on small firms. As a result, many uninsured people will not be helped by the type of mandated employee benefit program currently under review. A separate approach would probably be needed to meet the needs of those not covered by mandated benefit programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivia S. Mitchell, 1990. "The Effects of Mandating Benefits Packages," NBER Working Papers 3260, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3260 Note: LS
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    1. Stephen A. Woodbury, 2009. "Unemployment," Chapters,in: Labor and Employment Law and Economics, chapter 17 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Brown, Charles, 1988. "Minimum Wage Laws: Are They Overrated?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 133-145, Summer.
    3. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Spivak, Avia & Summers, Lawrence H, 1982. "The Adequacy of Savings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1056-1069, December.
    4. Mitchell, Olivia S, 1988. "Worker Knowledge of Pension Provisions," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(1), pages 21-39, January.
    5. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1988. "An Analysis Of Pension Benefit Formulas, Pension Wealth And Incentives From Pensions," NBER Working Papers 2535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Robert A. Hart & David N.F. Bell & Rudolf Frees & Seiichi Kawaski & Stephen A. Woodbury, 1988. "Trends in Non-Wage Labour Costs and their Effects on Employment: Final Report," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number saw1988.
    7. Stephen A. Woodbury, 2009. "Unemployment," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers,in: Kenneth G. Dau-Schmidt & Seth D. Harris & Orley Lobel (ed.), Labor and Employment Law and Economics, volume 2, pages 480-516 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    8. Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1987. "Justifying Public Provision of Social Security," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(4), pages 674-696.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:iab:iabzaf:v:38:i:2/3:p:341-356 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Dorothea Alewell, Kerstin Pull, 2001. "An Internatioal Comparison and Assessment of Maternity Leave Regulation," Working Paper Series A 2001-02, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    3. Olivia S. Mitchell, "undated". "Retirement Systems in Developed and Developing Countries: Institutional Features, Economic Effects, and Lessons for Economies in Transition," Pension Research Council Working Papers 94-3, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
    4. Christopher J. Ruhm & Jackqueline L. Teague, 1995. "Parental Leave Policies in Europe and North America," NBER Working Papers 5065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Richard V. Burkhauser & Joseph F. Quinn, 1997. "Implementing Pro-Work Policies for Older Americans in the Twenty-First Century," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 378, Boston College Department of Economics.
    6. Dorothea Alewell & Kerstin Pull, 2005. "Die Neugestaltung der Finanzierung des Mutterschutzes - ein Kommentar zum Mutterschutz-Urteil des Bundesverfassungsgerichtes," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 58(04), pages 22-27, February.
    7. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1998. "The Economic Consequences of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons from Europe," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 285-317.
    8. Budd, John W., 2000. "The effect of strike replacement legislation on employment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, pages 225-247.
    9. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1997. "Policy Watch: The Family and Medical Leave Act," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 175-186, Summer.
    10. Gruber, J., 1992. "The Efficiency of a Group-Specific Mandated Benefit: Evidence from Health Insurance Benefits for Maternity," Working papers 92-19, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    11. Alewell, Dorothea & Pull, Kerstin, 2005. "Rechtsschutz für Mütter : eine ökonomische Analyse des Mutterschutzgesetzes und seiner Wirkungen auf die Beschäftigungssituation von Frauen (Legal protection for mothers * an economic analysis of the ," Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung - Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 38(2/3), pages 341-356.

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