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

Martin Andersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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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