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NBER WORKING PAPER SERIES

THE U.S. HEALTH CARE SYSTEM AND LABOR MARKETS Brigitte C. Madrian Working Paper 11980 http://www.nber.org/papers/w11980 NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138 January 2006

Written for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston 50th Economic Conference, “Wanting It All: The Challenge of Reforming the U.S. Health Care System,” June 15-17, 2005, Chatham, MA. This paper draws quite extensively on three previously written papers: “Health Insurance Portability, Labor Supply, and Job Mobility,” July 2004, written for the Inter-American Conference on Social Security; “Health Insurance and the Labor Market,” in Huizhong Zhou, ed., The Political Economy of Health Care Reforms (Kalamazoo, MI: Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, 2001), and “Health, Health Insurance and the Labor Market” (with Janet Currie) in Orley Ashenfelter and David Card, eds., Handbook of Labor Economics, Volume 3 (Amsterdam: Elsevier-North Holland, 1999). The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research. ©2006 by Brigitte C. Madrian. All rights reserved. Short sections of text, not to exceed two paragraphs, may be quoted without explicit permission provided that full credit, including © notice, is given to the source.

The U.S. Health Care System and Labor Markets Brigitte C. Madrian NBER Working Paper No. 11980 January 2006 JEL No. I10, J3, J6 ABSTRACT

This paper provides a broad and general overview of the relationship between the U.S. health care system and the labor market. The paper first describes some of the salient features of and facts about the system of health insurance coverage in the U.S., particularly the role of employers. It then summarizes the empirical evidence on how health insurance impacts labor market outcomes such as...

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