NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Does Employer-Provided Health Insurance Constrain Labor Supply Adjustments to Health Shocks? New Evidence on Women Diagnosed with Breast Cancer

Cathy J. Bradley, David Neumark, Scott Barkowski

NBER Working Paper No. 18060
Issued in May 2012
NBER Program(s):   HE   LS

Employment-contingent health insurance creates incentives for ill workers to remain employed at a sufficient level (usually full-time) to maintain access to health insurance coverage. We study employed married women, newly diagnosed with breast cancer, comparing labor supply responses to breast cancer diagnoses between women dependent on their own employment for health insurance and women with access to health insurance through their spouse’s employer. We find evidence that women more dependent on their own job for health insurance reduce their labor supply by less after a diagnosis of breast cancer – the estimate difference is about 5.5 to 7 percent. Women’s subjective responses to questions about working more to maintain health insurance are consistent with the conclusions from observed behavior.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18060

Published: Bradley, Cathy J. & Neumark, David & Barkowski, Scott, 2013. "Does employer-provided health insurance constrain labor supply adjustments to health shocks? New evidence on women diagnosed with breast cancer," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 833-849.

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