Happiness and Health Care Coverage

35 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2009

See all articles by David G. Blanchflower

David G. Blanchflower

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Stirling - Department of Economics


In this paper I examine the characteristics of adults who report on whether they have health care coverage and of people who say that they are unable to see a doctor over the preceding year because of the cost. I make use of a unique data set, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a phone survey undertaken in the United States for the years 2005-2009. I find evidence that not having the ability to see a doctor because of an inability to pay is a major and substantial source of unhappiness in the United States, even for people with high income.

Keywords: life satisfaction, health care coverage

JEL Classification: I18

Suggested Citation

Blanchflower, David G., Happiness and Health Care Coverage. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4450, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1489273

David G. Blanchflower (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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University of Stirling - Department of Economics ( email )

Stirling, FK9 4LA
United Kingdom

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