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Author: Cawley, John ; Simon, Kosali
Working Paper: The Impact of Macroeconomic Conditions on the Health Insurance Coverage of Americans (PDF) ; October 2003

Research Highlight 5 (HTML) (PDF) ; April 2004
Q & A with John Cawley, Ph.D (HTML) ; April 2004
Research Findings (HTML)

The primary objective of this paper is to improve our understanding of the historical relationship between state and national macroeconomic climate and the health insurance coverage of Americans. The secondary objective of this paper is to use the historical finds to estimate how the number of uninsured Americans changed during the 2001 recession, and to estimate whether enough people have gained health insurance during the current recovery to offset the losses during the recession. We conclude that the macroeconomy (in particular, the unemployment rate) is correlated with the probability of health insurance coverage and that this correlation is only partly explained by hanged in individuals' employment status. We find that government-provided coverage for children is less than fully counter-cyclical. Finally, we estimate that roughly one million Americans lost health insurance due to macroeconomic conditions during the 2001 recession.