Heterogeneity and the effect of mental health parity mandates on the labor market

Martin Andersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Health insurance benefit mandates are believed to have adverse effects on the labor market, but efforts to document such effects for mental health parity mandates have had limited success. I show that one reason for this failure is that the association between parity mandates and labor market outcomes vary with mental distress. Accounting for this heterogeneity, I find adverse labor market effects for non-distressed individuals, but favorable effects for moderately distressed individuals and individuals with a moderately distressed family member. On net, I conclude that the mandates are welfare increasing for moderately distressed workers and their families, but may be welfare decreasing for non-distressed individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-84
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of health economics
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Benefit mandates
  • Insurance
  • Labor supply
  • Mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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