This paper evaluates the labor market effects of sick pay mandates in the United States. Using the National Compensation Survey and difference-in-differences models, we estimate their impact on coverage rates, sick leave use, labor costs, and non-mandated fringe benefits. Sick pay mandates increase coverage significantly by 13 percentage points from a baseline level of 66%. Newly covered employees take two additional sick days per year. We find little evidence that mandating sick pay crowds-out other non-mandated fringe benefits. We then develop a model of optimal sick pay provision along with a welfare analysis. Mandating sick pay likely increases welfare.
We investigate whether taxpayers respond to a large, ACA-induced upward tax notch at the Federal Poverty Level. Using administrative tax data, we document bunching in the income distribution and provide estimates of the taxable income elasticity. Our estimates are the only ones using US data that are identified by panel variation in budget constraints rather than functional form assumptions (Blomquist and Newey 2017), a feature of our novel longitudinal estimator. Consistent with Saez (2010), we find bunching only among the self-employed. Analysis of linked tax and survey data suggests that bunching is likely not representative of changes in labor supply.
This paper presents results from the first year of a multi-year, pre-committed research design for analyzing recent state-level minimum wage changes. Through 2015 and 2016, we estimate that relatively large statutory minimum wage increases have reduced employment among low-skilled population groups by just under 1.5 percentage points. Our estimates of the effects of smaller minimum wage increases are more variable and include both moderately large positive values and modest negative values.Our estimates of the effects of increases linked to inflation-indexing provisions are also quite variable, taking a small positive value on average across specifications. Results including 2016 diverge nontrivially when we compare estimates using the American Community Survey (ACS) to estimates using the Current Population Survey (CPS), with estimates tending to be more negative in the ACS. Analysis of future data will be needed to determine whether this difference across surveys is most appropriately attributed to sampling variations or to some other cause.
We examine how the Affordable Care Act’s dependent coverage mandate (DCM) affected young adults’ time allocation. Exploiting more accurate measures from the American Time Use Surveys, we find that the DCM reduced labor supply. The question then arises, what have these adults done with the extra time? Estimates suggest a reduction in job‐lock, as well as in the duration of the average doctor’s visit, including time spent waiting and receiving care. The latter effect is consistent with substitution from emergency‐department utilization toward more routine care. Estimates suggest that the extra time has gone into socializing, and into educational and job‐search activities.
We study the impact of Obamacare on firm employment and performance using hand-collected firm-level employee health insurance data. We show that Obamacare is associated with a significant increase in health insurance premia for employees in company-sponsored health insurance plans. Perhaps because of this increase in cost, companies with a large fraction of employees on their health insurance plans prior to Obamacare actively reduce enrollment in these plans after the law was enacted. We also find evidence that these same companies shift their employment composition from full-time employees to part-time, temporary, or seasonal workers, who are not covered in employer-sponsored health insurance plans. We do not find any evidence of deterioration in performance in companies that were more exposed to the increase in health insurance premia, perhaps because these companies adjust to the new regulation by changing the composition of employment towards part-time employees.
Workers would be allowed to band together to buy health insurance under a proposed rule released Thursday by the Department of Labor.
The proposed rule was issued in response to an executive order by President Trump, which would allow associations of workers to purchase cheaper health insurance that’s not subject to the same rules as plans under ObamaCare.
This EBRI Notes article examines the percentage of employers offering health insurance from 2008–2016 to better understand how health insurance offer rates may have been affected by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), the Great Recession of 2007–2009, and the subsequent economic recovery. The data come from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey–Insurance Component (MEPS-IC).
Many employers were expected to drop workplace health insurance with the introduction of the ACA. Since 2008, the percentage of coverage-offering employers with 1,000 or more employees has been consistently near or above 99 percent—it reached 99.8 percent in 2016—but smaller firms have shown a steady, though not precipitous, decline in offer rates. For the smallest employers studied, those with fewer than 10 employees, the offer rate declined from 22.7 percent in 2015 to 21.7 percent in 2016.
But over the last year, perhaps with the strengthening economy and lower unemployment rates, there is evidence of what may be a rebound in employment-based coverage offer rates among firms with 10-999 employees. More specifically, from 2015-2016:
For employers with 10–24 employees, those offering health benefits increased from 48.9 percent to 49.4 percent.
For employers with 25–99 employees, those offering health benefits increased from 73.5 percent to 74.6 percent.
For employers with 100-999 employees, those offering health benefits increased from 95.1 percent to 96.3 percent. For these employers, this trend actually began a year earlier, when the offer rate increased from 92.5 percent in 2014 to 95.1 percent in 2015.
This paper discusses the context for the recent rebound and suggests factors that may influence future trends.