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March 2003 (Volume 81)
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Even though many employers believe that health insurance and health affect employees’ productivity and firms’ performance, health economists typically overlook and rarely measure firms’ returns on health-related investments. Some research, however, suggests that firms may benefit economically by providing health insurance coverage for workers and their families. For example, health coverage may help employers recruit and retain high-quality workers. Health may contribute to productivity by reducing the costs of absenteeism and turnover and by increasing workers’ productivity, This article reviews the evidence and proposes an agenda for future research. A better understanding of the benefits to employers of offering health coverage to workers may help clarify employers’ behavior and help private employers and public officials make appropriate investments in health.
Author(s): Ellen O’Brien
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Volume 81, Issue 1 (pages 5–43) DOI: 10.1111/1468-0009.00037 Published in 2003
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The Milbank Quarterly’s multidisciplinary approach and commitment to applying the best empirical research to practical policymaking offers in-depth assessments of the social, economic, historical, legal, and ethical dimensions of health and health care policy.