• Heritage Action
  • More

February 26, 2009

Does Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Reduce Job Mobility?


How the health insurance system influences the likelihood of changing jobs and becoming self-employed


This paper investigates the extent to which employer-sponsored health insurance influenced job mobility between 1995 and 2007. This time period is important given the recent increase in the cost of private health insurance and the enactment of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act in 1996. In addition, changes in the tax treatment of health insurance for the self-employed occurred throughout the period. Using data from the 1996-2007 March Supplements of the Current Population Survey, I find that for married women with employer-sponsored insurance, having an alternative source of coverage increases their likelihood of becoming self-employed by 75 percent, while the number of children they have reduces their likelihood of switching jobs by 7 percent. Overall, I find that having an alternative source of insurance increases the likelihood of switching jobs by 9 percent. Finally, I do not find evidence to suggest that job-lock affects married men. (JEL J20, J38, J60)


Heritage's daily Morning Bell e-mail keeps you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

The subscription is free and delivers you the latest conservative policy perspectives on the news each weekday--straight from Heritage experts.

The Morning Bell is your daily wake-up call offering a fresh, conservative analysis of the news.

More than 450,000 Americans rely on Heritage's Morning Bell to stay up to date on the policy battles that affect them.

Rush Limbaugh says "The Heritage Foundation's Morning Bell is just terrific!"

Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) says it's "a great way to start the day for any conservative who wants to get America back on track."

Sign up to start your free subscription today!