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Health Insurance and Less Skilled Workers

  • Janet Currie
  • Aaron Yelowitz

We begin this research with the belief that low and declining levels of private-employer sponsored health insurance were a continuing problem, especially among less skilled workers. Our analysis, however, paints a more complex picture. Using data from the March CPS, the SIP, and CPS benefits surveys, we find that while many less skilled workers remain uncovered, the decline in private employer-sponsored health insurance coverage has slowed recently and may even have reversed. Neither crowdout nor a deterioration in the quality of jobs available to the less skilled seems likely to fully explain these time-series trends in health insurance coverage. A simple explanation that has been largely overlooked is that rising health care costs have driven much of the reduction in private insurance coverage, but it is more difficult to test this hypothesis given the available data.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w7291.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7291.

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Date of creation: Aug 1999
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Publication status: published as Card, David and Rebecca Blank (eds.) Finding Jobs: Work and Welfare Reform. New York: Russell Sage, 2000.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7291
Note: HC LS
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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Web page: http://www.nber.org
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  1. Yelowitz, Aaron S, 1995. "The Medicaid Notch, Labor Supply, and Welfare Participation: Evidence from Eligibility Expansions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 909-39, November.
  2. Esel Y. Yazici & Robert Kaestner, 1998. "Medicaid Expansions and The Crowding Out of Private Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 6527, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Currie, Janet & Madrian, Brigitte C., 1999. "Health, health insurance and the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 50, pages 3309-3416 Elsevier.
  4. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 1999. "Welfare, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Labor Supply of Single Mothers," NBER Working Papers 7363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Katharine Bradbury, 1996. "Growing inequality of family incomes: changing families and changing wages," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Jul, pages 55-82.
  6. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  7. 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..
  8. David M. Cutler & Jonathan Gruber, 1995. "Does Public Insurance Crowd Out Private Insurance?," NBER Working Papers 5082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jonathan Gruber & James M. Poterba, 1996. "Tax Subsidies to Employer-Provided Health Insurance," NBER Chapters, in: Empirical Foundations of Household Taxation, pages 135-168 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Martin Feldstein & James M. Poterba, 1996. "Empirical Foundations of Household Taxation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feld96-1.
  11. David M. Cutler & Louise Sheiner, 1998. "Managed Care and the Growth of Medical Expenditures," NBER Chapters, in: Frontiers in Health Policy Research, Volume 1, pages 77-116 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Maria Cancian & Deborah Reed, 1998. "Assessing The Effects Of Wives' Earnings On Family Income Inequality," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 73-79, February.
  13. Janet Currie & Richard Chaykowski, 1992. "Male Jobs, Female Jobs, and Gender Gaps in Benefits Coverage," NBER Working Papers 4106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Janet Currie & Jonathan Gruber, 1995. "Health Insurance Eligibility, Utilization of Medical care, and Child Health," NBER Working Papers 5052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Shore-Sheppard Lara D., 2008. "Stemming the Tide? The Effect of Expanding Medicaid Eligibility On Health Insurance Coverage," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(2), pages 1-35, July.
  16. Rebecca M. Blank & Patricia Ruggles, 1996. "When Do Women Use Aid to Families with Dependent Children and Food Stamps? The Dynamics of Eligibility Versus Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 57-89.
  17. Currie, Janet & Gruber, Jonathan, 1996. "Saving Babies: The Efficacy and Cost of Recent Changes in the Medicaid Eligibility of Pregnant Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1263-96, December.
  18. Janet Currie, 1993. "Gender Gaps in Benefits Coverage," NBER Working Papers 4265, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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