Quantitative Economics, Volume 10, Issue 4 (November 2019)
Labor market sorting and health insurance system design
This paper develops and estimates a life‐cycle equilibrium labor search model in which heterogeneous firms determine health insurance provisions and heterogeneous workers sort themselves into jobs with different compensation packages over the life cycle. I study the optimal joint design of major policies in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the implications of targeting these policies to certain individuals. Compared with the health insurance system under the ACA, the optimal structure lowers the tax benefit of employer‐sponsored health insurance and makes individual insurance more attractive to younger workers. Through changes in firms' insurance provisions, a greater number of younger workers sort into individual markets, which contributes to improving the risk pool in individual insurance and lowering the uninsured risk.
Life‐cycle equilibrium labor search social insurance joint design of policies H51 I13 J32 J60
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