Health, Insurance, and the Labor Market
This session contains papers that evaluate the effect of physician learning on health outcomes, the effect of high temperature on worker health and the effect health insurance mandates on labor market outcomes. The first paper examines learning from success and failure in the context of coronary stenting in using 1995-2000 data from Florida. The author finds that physicians change the average difficulty of their caseloads depending on their cumulative successes and failures, and that the size of the adjustment depends on whether they are above or below social aspirations The second paper examines the effect of high temperatures on workers’ health and productivity also tests for nonlinearities in the health effects of high temperatures. Initial results suggest that worker health is compromised at temperatures above 90 degrees. In addition, there is no evidence that multiple consecutive hot days produce more severe health effects or that large temperature shocks are much more detrimental to worker health. The third paper evaluates the relationship between health insurance mandates and labor market outcomes with a sample of workers for whom employers can most easily adjust compensation (wage and non-wage) – new labor market entrants. Consistent with theory, the authors find evidence that employers adjust wages and hours to offset some of the cost associated with mandates. Overall, wages and hours decline by about 4 percent and 1 percent respectively in response to high cost mandates, and these effects dissipate with time spent in the labor market.