Can Human Capital Explain the Difference in Private Health Insurance Coverage Rates between Natives and Immigrants?

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Michael Seeborg

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Mr. White's paper, submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Mark Israel Summer Research Fellowship, was published in Volume 10 of the student-edited, peer reviewed Undergraduate Economic Review. For the full text of his article, please click the Download button above. For a video about Mr. White's work, please click here.


This paper investigates how human capital variables, especially educational attainment and health disability, affect an immigrant’s probability to have private health insurance. Specifically, is there a convergence to natives’ coverage rates for immigrants as human capital is controlled for? Two probit regressions are used to answer this question, one to analyze the employer provided health insurance market and another to analyze privately purchased health insurance market. The principle finding is that human capital variables are important in determining access to private health insurance. However, a health insurance coverage differential does remain between immigrants and natives.