The U.S. Health Care System and Labor Markets
35 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2006 Last revised: 3 Nov 2010
Date Written: January 2006
This paper provides a broad and general overview of the relationship between the U.S. health care system and the labor market. The paper first describes some of the salient features of and facts about the system of health insurance coverage in the U.S., particularly the role of employers. It then summarizes the empirical evidence on how health insurance impacts labor market outcomes such as wages, labor supply (including retirement, female labor supply, part-time vs. full-time work, and formal vs. informal sector work), labor demand (including hours worked and the composition of employment across full-time, part-time and temporary workers), and job turnover. It then discusses the implications of having a fragmented system of health insurance delivery--in which employers play a central role--on the health care system and health care outcomes.
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