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

Posted: 13 May 2002

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

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Abstract

During the past two decades, union density has declined in the United States and employer provision of health benefits has changed substantially in extent and form. Using individual survey data spanning the years 1983-97 combined with employer survey data for 1993, the authors update and extend previous analyses of private-sector union effects on employer-provided health benefits. They 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% 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.

JEL Classification: J51, J32

Suggested Citation

Buchmueller, Thomas C. and DiNardo, John and Valletta, Robert G., Union Effects on Health Insurance Provision and Coverage in the United States. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 55, No. 4, July 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=307730

Thomas C. Buchmueller

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 )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI MI 48109
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
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John DiNardo

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

5238 Weill Hall
735 S. State St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1220
734-647-7843 (Phone)

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

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Robert G. Valletta (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco ( email )

101 Market Street
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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