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Worker Sorting, Health Insurance and Wages: Further Evidence from Displaced Workers in the United States

  • Steven F. Lehrer

    ()

    (School of Policy Studies and Department of Economics, Queen’s University)

  • Nuno Sousa Pereira

    ()

    (CETE, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto)

The United States has the distinction of being the only industrialized nation without universal health insurance. Health insurance may have impacts on the US labor market. We use data on displaced workers over a 25 year period to document how the role of health insurance on wages and worker sorting has evolved. We find that the provision of health insurance increasingly influences wage inequality. Our results indicate that the portion of the unadjusted wage gap due only to selection bias from unobserved (to the analyst) characteristics, such as ability or innate health status has grown rapidly since 2000. Further, while there have been substantial changes in how displaced workers sort to firms that offer health insurance benefits over the last 25 years, many of the patterns have reversed directions over the past six years. Finally, we discuss the policy implications of our results.

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File URL: http://www.fep.up.pt/investigacao/cete/papers/DP0804.pdf
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Paper provided by Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto in its series CEF.UP Working Papers with number 0804.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:por:cetedp:0804
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  1. Steven F. Lehrer & Nuno Sousa Pereira, 2007. "Worker Sorting, Compensating Differentials and Health Insurance: Evidence from Displaced Workers," NBER Working Papers 12951, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alan C. Monheit & Jessica Primoff Vistnes, 1999. "Health Insurance Availability at the Workplace: How Important are Worker Preferences?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(4), pages 770-785.
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  4. Feldstein, Martin, 1995. "Effect of Marginal Tax Rates on Taxable Income: A Panel Study of the 1986 Tax Reform Act," Scholarly Articles 2766676, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  12. Helen Levy, 1998. "Who Pays for Health Insurance? Employee Contributions to Health Insurance Premiums," Working Papers 777, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  13. Clotfelter, Charles T, 1983. "Tax Evasion and Tax Rates: An Analysis of Individual Returns," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(3), pages 363-73, August.
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  18. Lemieux, Thomas, 1998. "Estimating the Effects of Unions on Wage Inequality in a Panel Data Model with Comparative Advantage and Nonrandom Selection," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 261-91, April.
  19. Jonathan Gruber & Michael Lettau, 2000. "How Elastic is the Firm's Demand for Health Insurance?," NBER Working Papers 8021, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Gruber, Jonathan & Lettau, Michael, 2004. "How elastic is the firm's demand for health insurance?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1273-1293, July.
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  22. Farber, Henry S. & Levy, Helen, 2000. "Recent trends in employer-sponsored health insurance coverage: are bad jobs getting worse?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 93-119, January.
  23. Crane, Steven E & Nourzad, Farrokh, 1986. "Inflation and Tax Evasion: An Empirical Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(2), pages 217-23, May.
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