2/15/2011 8:32:56 AM By
Is job-lock (the locking of a person into a specific job beyond when they would like to be there) occurring in the U.S.? Are entrepreneurs being forced to stay in wage jobs, working for someone else, because of the fear of losing their health insurance? Below are a few pieces of research/data sources that I've come across recently that are attempting to make research contributions to this question. But before I comment on them and their source data, it has to be said that all of these research efforts are attempting to get at the impact of health insurance provision on entrepreneurial entry in the United States but because of limitations in how the data is collected none of the efforts really gets at the real
issue. Simply put, there is a belief that more potentially innovative nascent entrepreneurs are kept from starting a business (or doing so full-time) because they are tied to a job in which they receive health insurance. None of these data sources/research is able to ask this exact question and realizing the limits of their data to the analysis is critical. Someday, I hope there will be some data that can really inform this question more directly, but I am not currently aware of any such data in development. I certainly am of the crowd that believes this problem to be huge.
- Two sets of authors (Maria Minniti and Yunwei Gai; Ian Michael Breunig) have papers out using the Medical Expenditures Panel Survey at Department of Health and Human Services. This data is rich in that it gives information on where the insurance is coming from and also the work experience of all primary members of the house. The downside of this data in my mind is that it forces the authors to use a self-employment measure for entrepreneurship, which is not typically associated with high-growth firms.
- Rob Fairlie, Kanika Kapur, and Susan Gates in a forthcoming journal article Is Employer-Based Health Insurance a Barrier to Entrepreneurship? take a look at the Current Population Survey and specifically make use of it's unique design to track transitions to self-employment around the age 65. As such the authors are able to infer inhibitions at the time individuals become eligible for government-backed insurance and make attempts to measure job lock more broadly from this population.
- Scott Shane and Alicia Robb have analyzed the Kauffman Firm Survey questions asked of its panel of new businesses started in 2004 and finds little evidence of significant annual change in health insurance provision among the panel.
Past posts related to health insurance:
9/15/2009 12:45:39 PM By
A month or so back I did a post on the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust Employer Health Benefits Annual Survey
which is a survey of employers on benefits issues. Today, I thought I would highlight the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey. The most recent survey was completed in 2007 and the survey instrument
and other summary reports
are available online. A specific report on small business
was released last week.
Right away, one thing which is different about the Commonwealth survey is that it is a household survey, not a business survey. This has some major advantages when looking at this issue since health care is often a topic which is not well understood without full information on all members of a household. How is entrepreneurship measured in the survey?
ASK IF EMPLOYED FULL OR PART-TIME (D4=1,2)
D6 Are you now SELF-employed or are you employed by someone else? [IF HAS MORE
THAN ONE JOB: Please think about your MAIN job, where you work the most hours.]
(Trend 2001 D5, 2003 D5, 2005 D6)
2 Employed by someone else
8 Don’t know
ASK IF SELF-EMPLOYED (D6=1)
D7 Do you work by yourself, do you employ other people, or do you work with other people?
(Trend 2005 D7)
1 Just self
2 Employ other people
3 Work with other people
8 Don’t know
So, self-employment and size of business are the two main cuts. No business age is collected or if the people involved in the smaller businesses are actually owners or founder.
And what have the results shown? They really tend to highlight the potential improvements for many involved in entrepreneurship if some sort of improved health insurance options can be worked out. Currently, the self-employed and those working for smaller firms are the most likely people to report going without insurance at some point in a given year.
Read more from the source report
It'd be great to look at an oversample of nascent entrepreneurs with this population to consider if anything new could be learned.
8/12/2009 1:44:49 PM By
8/10/2009 6:10:54 PM By
8/10/2009 2:59:33 PM By
Like most people in the United States right now, I am a bit overwhelmed by the health care debate. It's such a complex issue and it is moving so quickly that for the last month I have largely tuned out the details. But today, I was reading a story from the Los Angeles Times
that caught my attention because it had some interesting details on the benefits offered by small firms. So, I followed the sources and ended up at the 2008 Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust Employer Health Benefits Annual Survey
. While I am still pouring over the results, there were a couple of things about this survey which I found interesting. It's not a survey which researchers can access microdata but I think the survey still has a lot of good material.
The first thing that struck me was this chart:
What this would seem to imply is that it is not necessarily the incidence of small firms offering health insurance which differs from large firms but rather it is the details of the plans which are offered which can vary significantly.
On the methodology section of the report
, I thought their adjustments this year to get additional survey response might be useful for others doing work in this area or just conceptually for those trying to raise their response rates.
The Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust 2008 Annual Employer Health Benefits Survey (Kaiser/HRET) reports findings from a telephone survey of 1,927 randomly selected public and private employers with three or more workers. Researchers at the Health Research & Educational Trust, the National Opinion Research Center at The University of Chicago, and the Kaiser Family Foundation designed and analyzed the survey. National Research, LLC conducted the fieldwork between January and May 2008. In 2008 our overall response rate is 48%, which includes firms that offer and do not offer health benefits. Among firms that offer health benefits, the survey’s response rate is 50%.
From previous years’ experience, we have learned that firms that decline to participate in the study are less likely to offer health coverage. Therefore, we asked one question of all firms with which we made phone contact where the firm declined to participate. The question was, “Does your company offer or contribute to a health insurance program as a benefit to your employees?” A total of 2,832 firms responded to this question (including 1,927 who responded to the full survey and 905 who responded to this one question). Their responses are included in our estimates of the percentage of firms offering health coverage. The response rate for this question was 71%. Since firms are selected randomly, it is possible to extrapolate from the sample to national, regional, industry, and firm size estimates using statistical weights. In calculating weights, we first determined the basic weight, then applied a nonresponse adjustment, and finally applied a post-stratification adjustment. We used the U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistics of U.S. Businesses as the basis for the stratification and the post-stratification adjustment for firms in the private sector, and we used the Census of Governments as the basis for post-stratification for firms in the public sector. Some exhibits in the report do not sum to totals due to rounding effects and, in a few cases, numbers from distribution exhibits referenced in the text may not add due to rounding effects.
Read more from the methodology
. Get historical surveys
. I was trying to find a copy of the actual questionnaire used but didn't have any luck. If someone has or can point me to the link, I'd appreciate.