Social Science Abstract of the Week

Everyone who is awake knows that the labor force participation rate is at a 35-year low, making the real unemployment rate much higher than the “official” number of 6.3 percent reported this morning.  Now see this from Science magazine‘s roundup of notable journal articles this week, posted without comment, as none is necessary:

Public health insurance costs jobs?

Gilbert Chin

What is the relationship between employment rates and access to public health insurance? Garthwaite et al. analyzed what happened in 2005, when the state of Tennessee discontinued Medicare health insurance coverage for about 4% of its non-elderly adult population, many of them nondisabled low-income adults without children at home. With a new need for private health insurance, which is often provided by employers, many of these people found new jobs. State employment rose by 6 percentage points from 2004 to 2006. This change mirrors the Congressional Budget Office projections of the decline in employment due to the expansion of public health insurance mandated in the U.S. Affordable Care Act.

Q. J. Econ. 129, 653 (2014).


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