Union Effects on Health Insurance Provision and Coverage in the United States

36 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2001 Last revised: 21 Oct 2010

See all articles by Thomas C. Buchmueller

Thomas C. Buchmueller

University of California - Paul Merage School of Business - Economics/Health Care; University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

John E. DiNardo

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Robert G. Valletta

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2001

Abstract

During the past two decades, union density has declined in the United States and employer provision of health benefits has undergone substantial changes in extent and form. Using individual data spanning the years 1983-1997, combined with establishment data for 1993, we update and extend previous analyses of private-sector union effects on employer-provided health benefits. We find that the union effect on health insurance coverage rates has fallen somewhat but remains large, due to an increase over time in the union effect on employee 'take-up' of offered insurance, and that declining unionization explains 20-35 percent of the decline in employee health coverage. The increasing union take-up effect is linked to union effects on employees' direct costs for health insurance and the availability of retiree coverage.

Suggested Citation

Buchmueller, Thomas C. and DiNardo, John and Valletta, Robert G., Union Effects on Health Insurance Provision and Coverage in the United States (April 2001). NBER Working Paper No. w8238. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=267422

Thomas C. Buchmueller (Contact Author)

University of California - Paul Merage School of Business - Economics/Health Care ( email )

Irvine, CA 92697-3125
United States

HOME PAGE: http://web.gsm.uci.edu/~tbuchmu/

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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John DiNardo

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jdinardo/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Robert G. Valletta

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco ( email )

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San Francisco, CA 94105
United States
415-974-3345 (Phone)
415-977-4084 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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