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Employer-sponsored health insurance and the gender wage gap

Benjamin Cowan and Benjamin Schwab

Journal of Health Economics, 2016, vol. 45, issue C, 103-114

Abstract: During prime working years, women have higher expected healthcare expenses than men. However, employees’ insurance rates are not gender-rated in the employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI) market. Thus, women may experience lower wages in equilibrium from employers who offer health insurance to their employees. We show that female employees suffer a larger wage gap relative to men when they hold ESI: our results suggest this accounts for roughly 10% of the overall gender wage gap. For a full-time worker, this pay gap due to ESI is on the order of the expected difference in healthcare expenses between women and men.

Keywords: Gender; Wages; Employer-sponsored health insurance; Compensating differential (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I1 J3 J7 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2015.09.008

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Journal of Health Economics is currently edited by J. P. Newhouse, A. J. Culyer, R. Frank, K. Claxton and T. McGuire

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