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Are Mental Health Insurance Mandates Effective?: Evidence from Suicides

Many states have passed laws mandating insurance companies to provide or offer some form of mental health benefits. These laws presumably lower the price of obtaining mental health services for many adults, and as a result, might improve health outcomes. This paper analyzes the effectiveness of mental health insurance mandates by examining the influence of mandates on adult suicides, which are strongly correlated with mental illness. Data on completed suicides in each state for the period 1981-2000 are analyzed. Ordinary least squares and two-stage least squares results show that mental health mandates are not effective in reducing suicide rates.

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File URL: http://www.rutgers-newark.rutgers.edu/econnwk/workingpapers/2004-003.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark in its series Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark with number 2004-003.

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Handle: RePEc:run:wpaper:2004-003
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  1. Joshua Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," NBER Working Papers 8456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "State-mandated benefits and employer-provided health insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 433-464, November.
  3. Frank, Richard G. & McGuire, Thomas G., 2000. "Economics and mental health," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 893-954 Elsevier.
  4. Michael Grossman, 1972. "The Demand for Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros72-1, August.
  5. Craig William Perry & Harvey S. Rosen, 2001. "The Self-Employed are Less Likely to Have Health Insurance Than Wage Earners. So What?," NBER Working Papers 8316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Robert Kaestner & Kosali Ilayperuma Simon, 2002. "Labor Market Consequences of State Health Insurance Regulation," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(1), pages 136-159, October.
  7. Jonathan Gruber, 1992. "State Mandated Benefits and Employer Provided Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 4239, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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