The Impact of Health on Job Mobility

A Measure of Job Lock

Published in: Industrial and Labor Relations Review, v. 51, no. 2, Jan. 1998, p. 282-298

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 1998

by Kanika Kapur

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The author analyzes data from the National Medical Expenditure Survey of 1987 to measure the importance of job lock--the reduction in job mobility due to the non-portability of employer-provided health insurance. Refining the approach commonly used by other researchers investigating the same question, the author finds insignificant estimates of job lock; moreover, the confidence intervals of these estimates exclude large levels of job lock. A replication of an influential previous study that used the same data source shows large and significant job lock, as did that study, but when methodological problems are corrected and improved data are used to construct the job lock variables, job lock is found to be small and statistically insignificant.

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