Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Employer-based health insurance and growth

The United States, so far, is rather unique in that health insurance is typically provided through employers, and not all do. But whether an employer does provide insurance is an important consideration in the job decisions of employees. So this hurts labor mobility and the efficient allocation of labor. But what about entrepreneurship? This cannot be bad, seeing that the US is a global leader in this regard. Not quite.

Robert Fairlie, Kanika Kapur and Susan Gates use the Current Population Survey and find that people that do not benefit from health insurance through a spouse's employer are less likely to start a business. Also, those who are just a little older than 65, when coverage through the government sponsored Medicare program starts, are more likely to start a business than those a little younger than 65. Such an effect is not detectable for any other age.

I find it really strange that those who were most opposed the new health insurance regime were those favoring business interests. They should be happy that employer sponsored health insurance will not stand in the way of entrepreneurship anymore.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding? The new health care bill strengthens the reliance on employer-provided care.