Series editor(s): Professor Takao Kato
Subject Area: Economics
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|Title:||How do Rules and Costs Affect a Firm's Setting of Benefits? The Case of Health Insurance and Workforce Skills|
|Author(s):||Nan L. Maxwell|
|Volume:||12 Editor(s): Jed DeVaro ISBN: 978-0-85724-759-9 eISBN: 978-0-85724-760-5|
|Citation:||Nan L. Maxwell (2011), How do Rules and Costs Affect a Firm's Setting of Benefits? The Case of Health Insurance and Workforce Skills, in Jed DeVaro (ed.) Advances in the Economic Analysis of Participatory and Labor-Managed Firms (Advances in the Economic Analysis of Participatory & Labor-Managed Firms, Volume 12), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.89-114|
|DOI:||10.1108/S0885-3339(2011)0000012008 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
|Article type:||Chapter Item|
Institutional rules and economies of scale can create incentives for firms to make inframarginal decisions when offering fringe benefits. We examine how such incentives might affect a firm's offer of health insurance.
We develop and estimate an empirical model of the firm's offer of health insurance that includes incentives created by rules and economies of scale. We quantify the behavioral manifestations from rules and costs as recruiting difficulty in areas outside those in which compensation is set and the percentage of high-skilled jobs in the firm and use the California Health and Employment Surveys (CHES) to estimate the model.
We show a 10–13 percentage point increase in the probability of a firm offering workers health insurance in jobs outside of those in which compensation is being set, if the recruiting difficulty lies in mid- or high-skilled positions. This increase is about twice the size of the increase associated with recruiting difficulty in the position in which compensation is negotiated.
A failure to control for the influence of inframarginal decision making when estimating the wage-insurance tradeoff helps produce wrong-signed estimates.
By bringing institutional rules and economies of scale into the framework of a firm's offer of fringe benefits, we help move the focus of the fringe benefit-wage tradeoff away from the individual level.
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