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Limited Insurance Portability and Job Mobility: The Effects of Public Policy on Job-Lock

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Listed:
  • Jonathan Gruber
  • Brigitte C. Madrian

Abstract

The link between health insurance and the workplace in the U.S. has led to concern over the possibility of insurance-induced reductions in job mobility or 'job-lock". Designing health insurance reforms which retain employer-based insurance coverage but mitigate the extent of job-lock requires an understanding of the policy dimensions to which job-lock is most receptive. We study a policy of limited insurance portability which has been adopted by a number of states and the federal government over the last 20 years. These "continuation of coverage' mandates grant individuals the right to continue purchasing health insurance through their former employers for some period of time after leaving their jobs. We find that the passage of these mandates caused a significant increase in the job mobility of prime age male workers. This suggests that a sizeable share of job-lock arises from short run concerns over portability rather than from long run problems.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Gruber & Brigitte C. Madrian, 1993. "Limited Insurance Portability and Job Mobility: The Effects of Public Policy on Job-Lock," NBER Working Papers 4479, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4479
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gruber, J., 1992. "State Mandated Benefits and Employer Provided Health Insurance," Working papers 92-18, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    2. Brigitte C. Madrian, 1994. "Employment-Based Health Insurance and Job Mobility: Is there Evidence of Job-Lock?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 27-54.
    3. Jonathan Gruber & Brigitte C. Madrian, 1996. "Health Insurance and Early Retirement: Evidence from the Availability of Continuation Coverage," NBER Chapters, in: Advances in the Economics of Aging, pages 115-146, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Ann P. Bartel & George J. Borjas, 1977. "Middle-Age Job Mobility: Its Determinants and Consequences," NBER Working Papers 0161, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Jacob Mincer, 1986. "Wage Changes in Job Changes," NBER Working Papers 1907, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Olivia S. Mitchell, 1982. "Fringe Benefits and Labor Mobility," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(2), pages 286-298.
    7. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, 1993. "Health Insurance Provision and Labor Market Efficiency in the United States," NBER Working Papers 4388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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