Labor Force Participation and Access to Health Care Insurance for Immigrants and Natives

Olga Bright, University of California, Irvine
Frank D. Bean, University of California, Irvine

Research has shown that immigrants and natives have significantly different rates of employer-based and Medicaid health insurance coverage. Two main explanations for the differences in employer-based health insurance coverage (EBHI) exist. One postulates that human capital characteristics can explain these differences, the other explanation focuses on the differences in labor force participation. Comparatively few studies have examined labor force participation of native and immigrant differences and access to EBHI health insurance. Using the Current Population Survey from 1994 to 2001, this research examines rates of employment and unemployment for immigrants and natives and their access to employer-based health insurance. The results show that there has been an increase in the number of natives and immigrants in the work force and there has also been an increase in EBHI but nativity inequalities persist.

Presented in Session 47: Immigrants and Labor Markets