Skip Navigation

Spousal labor market effects from government health insurance: evidence from a Veterans Affairs expansion

Series Title(s):
Center for Retirement Research working paper
Contributor(s):
Boyle, Melissa.
Lahey, Joanna.
Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.
Publication:
Chestnut Hill, MA : Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, c2012
Language(s):
English
Format:
Text
Subject(s):
Employment -- statistics & numerical data
Health Benefit Plans, Employee -- statistics & numerical data
Insurance Coverage -- economics
Insurance Coverage -- statistics & numerical data
Insurance, Health -- economics
Insurance, Health -- statistics & numerical data
Spouses
Veterans
Women, Working -- statistics & numerical data
Family Characteristics
Financial Management
Health Benefit Plans, Employee -- economics
Health Care Surveys
Income
Insurance Benefits
Marital Status
Salaries and Fringe Benefits -- economics
Humans
United States
United States. Department of Veterans Affairs
Genre(s):
Technical Report
Abstract:
Although government expansion of health insurance to older workers leads to labor supply reductions for recipients, there may be spillover effects on the labor supply of affected spouses who are not covered by the programs. In the simplest model, health insurance on the job is paid for in terms of lower compensation on the job. Receiving health insurance exogenous to employment is akin to a positive income shock for the household, causing total household labor supply to drop. However, it is not clear within the household whether this decrease in labor supply will be borne by both spouses or by a specific spouse. We use a mid-1990s expansion of health insurance for U.S. veterans to provide evidence on the effects of expanding health insurance availability on the labor supply of spouses. Using data from the Current Population Survey, we employ a difference-in-differences strategy to compare the labor market behavior of the wives of older male veterans and non-veterans before and after the VA health benefits expansion to test the impact of public health insurance on these spouses. Our findings suggest that although household labor supply may decrease because of the income effect, the more flexible labor supply of wives allows the wife's labor supply to increase, particularly for those with lower education levels.
Copyright:
Reproduced with permission of the copyright holder. Further use of the material is subject to CC BY license. (More information)
NLM Unique ID:
101585817 (See catalog record)
Series Title(s):
Center for Retirement Research working paper
Contributor(s):
Boyle, Melissa.
Lahey, Joanna.
Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.
Publication:
Chestnut Hill, MA : Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, c2012
Language(s):
English
Format:
Text
Subject(s):
Employment -- statistics & numerical data
Health Benefit Plans, Employee -- statistics & numerical data
Insurance Coverage -- economics
Insurance Coverage -- statistics & numerical data
Insurance, Health -- economics
Insurance, Health -- statistics & numerical data
Spouses
Veterans
Women, Working -- statistics & numerical data
Family Characteristics
Financial Management
Health Benefit Plans, Employee -- economics
Health Care Surveys
Income
Insurance Benefits
Marital Status
Salaries and Fringe Benefits -- economics
Humans
United States
United States. Department of Veterans Affairs
Genre(s):
Technical Report
Abstract:
Although government expansion of health insurance to older workers leads to labor supply reductions for recipients, there may be spillover effects on the labor supply of affected spouses who are not covered by the programs. In the simplest model, health insurance on the job is paid for in terms of lower compensation on the job. Receiving health insurance exogenous to employment is akin to a positive income shock for the household, causing total household labor supply to drop. However, it is not clear within the household whether this decrease in labor supply will be borne by both spouses or by a specific spouse. We use a mid-1990s expansion of health insurance for U.S. veterans to provide evidence on the effects of expanding health insurance availability on the labor supply of spouses. Using data from the Current Population Survey, we employ a difference-in-differences strategy to compare the labor market behavior of the wives of older male veterans and non-veterans before and after the VA health benefits expansion to test the impact of public health insurance on these spouses. Our findings suggest that although household labor supply may decrease because of the income effect, the more flexible labor supply of wives allows the wife's labor supply to increase, particularly for those with lower education levels.
Copyright:
Reproduced with permission of the copyright holder. Further use of the material is subject to CC BY license. (More information)
NLM Unique ID:
101585817 (See catalog record)