Non-Contributory Health Insurance and Household Labor Supply: Evidence from Mexico (joint with Renata Narita)

Wednesday 22 February 2017, 1.00PM to 2:00pm

Speaker(s): Gabriella Conti (UCL)

Abstract: A central topic in the global health agenda is universal health coverage (UHC). The primary goal of social health insurance schemes is to protect bene ficiaries from the health and financial consequences of adverse health events. While in this sense there is scope for government intervention in providing insurance, the impacts of UHC on labor markets in developing countries are less clear. We study this issue using the case of Mexico, which introduced in 2002 a non-contributory health insurance scheme directed to the half of the country's population uncovered by Social Security protection (the Seguro Popular, SP). Since before SP uninsured individuals could only access affordable health care through their employer, the introduction of a non-contributory public health insurance scheme could have resulted in large effects on the labor market. In practice, SP is a transfer(tax) to the informal(formal) sector workers and to the nonemployed. On the one hand, if the value placed on SP bene fits is high, the introduction of fully subsidized health insurance can lead to negative impacts on employment and/or formality. On the other hand, wages in equilibrium might compensate the increase in benefi ts

Host: Cheti Nicoletti

Location: ARRC Auditorium (ARC014)

Admission: All welcome.