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Who pays for obesity? Evidence from health insurance benefit mandates

James Bailey ()

Economics Letters, 2013, vol. 121, issue 2, 287-289

Abstract: Is there an obesity externality? In the late 1990s and early 2000s, many state governments began requiring health insurance plans to cover treatments for diabetes. Using difference-in-difference analysis of restricted geocode data from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to compare wages across states with and without diabetes mandates, I find that obese people pay for all of their own increased health costs in the form of lower wages, rather than passing them on to employers, insurers, and co-workers.

Keywords: Obesity; Employer-based health insurance; NLSY geocode; Diabetes mandates (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I10 J30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:121:y:2013:i:2:p:287-289