Wedges, Labor Market Behavior, and Health Insurance Coverage under the Affordable Care Act

Trevor S. Gallen, Casey B. Mulligan

NBER Working Paper No. 19770
Issued in December 2013
NBER Program(s):Health Economics, Public Economics

The Affordable Care Act's taxes, subsidies, and regulations significantly alter terms of trade in both goods and factor markets. We use a multi-sector (intra-national) trade model to predict and quantify consequences of the Affordable Care Act for the incidence of health insurance coverage and patterns of labor usage. If and when the new exchange plans are competitive with employer-sponsored insurance (ESI), our model suggests that more than 20 million people will leave ESI as a consequence of the law. Behavioral changes that are captured in the model could add about 3 million participants to the new exchange plans: beyond those that would participate solely as the result of employer decisions to stop offering coverage and beyond those who would have been uninsured. Industries and regions will grow, decline, and change coverage on the basis of their relative demand for skilled labor.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19770

Published: Trevor S. Gallen & Casey B. Mulligan, 2018. "Wedges, Labor Market Behavior, and Health Insurance Coverage under the Affordable Care Act," National Tax Journal, vol 71(1), pages 75-120.

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