Small Business Benefits Study (SBBS), 1990: [Denver, Flint, Tampa, and Tucson] (ICPSR 6002)

Principal Investigator(s): McLaughlin, Catherine G., University of Michigan. School of Public Health


This survey was conducted as part of an evaluation of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Health Care for the Uninsured Program (HCUP), a program whose primary focus was the development and marketing of affordable health insurance products for small businesses. The survey investigated the number and types of small businesses that offered and did not offer insurance, the number and types of employees of small businesses who received and did not receive insurance, and whether the employers and employees participating in HCUP were different from those with other types of insurance or from those with no insurance. In addition, the survey was designed to test several hypotheses: whether employers facing an inelastic demand for their product or a tight labor market would be more likely to offer health insurance to their employees, and whether higher wages substitute for health insurance for certain groups of highly skilled or unionized workers. Firm-level data collected by the survey include number of permanent and temporary employees, employee turnover, fringe benefits offered to full- and part-time employees (e.g., paid vacation, paid sick leave, long-term disability insurance, life insurance, retirement plan, group health insurance), type of business, number of years owner had owned the company, age and legal form of the company, and gross revenue. Extensive information on health insurance was obtained from firms offering this benefit: total monthly premium paid for health insurance, percent of premium paid by the company, reasons that influenced the decision to provide health insurance, whether a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) insurance plan was offered, whether a deductible or co-payment was required for hospital inpatient services, and whether hospital room and board, physician office visits, maternity care, prescription drugs, inpatient mental health treatment, or substance abuse treatment were covered. These firms were also queried about recent changes in the number of health plan enrollees, deductibles, co-insurance rates, benefits offered, employer premium share, recent changes in health insurance carriers and reasons for changing, and recent increases in premiums and their effects on the firm's prices, profits, wages, and number of employees. Companies not offering health insurance were asked why they did not offer this benefit and were queried about factors that might influence them to offer a health plan. Individual-level data on employees include sex, age, marital status, length of employment, number of hours worked during the last week, salary or wage, health plan participation, amount of health premium paid by the employee, and whether the employee had health coverage from another source.

Access Notes

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the restricted-use data. A login is required to apply.

    As explained in the ICPSR Processing Note in the codebook, several variables are restricted from general dissemination for reasons of confidentiality. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete an Agreement for the Use of Confidential Data, specify the reasons for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research. Apply for access to these data through the ICPSR restricted data contract portal, which can be accessed via the study home page.

    Any public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


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Study Description


McLaughlin, Catherine G. Small Business Benefits Study (SBBS), 1990: [Denver, Flint, Tampa, and Tucson]. ICPSR06002-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1998.

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

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  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (13055)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    employee benefits, employers, health insurance, Health Maintenance Organizations, insurance coverage, labor markets, retirement plans, small businesses, wages and salaries, workers

Geographic Coverage:    Arizona, Colorado, Denver, Flint, Florida, Michigan, Tampa, Tucson, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1990

Date of Collection:   

  • 1990

Universe:    Small businesses with 2 to 25 employees in Tucson, Arizona, Tampa, Florida, Flint, Michigan, and Denver, Colorado.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

There are two volumes of documentation for this data collection. The first volume, which comprises the codebook, Appendix C, and frequencies, is provided as an ASCII text file and as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. A second volume, which consists of Appendices A and B, is provided only as a PDF file.

Appendix A contains the screening interview questionnaire, Appendix B the mailed survey instrument, and Appendix C the two-digit industry codes.


Sample:    Probability sample of firms stratified by industry and number of employees. Firms participating in HCUP and a control group of nonparticipants were selected from separate sampling frames. A knowledgeable person was interviewed in each firm.

Data Source:

telephone interviews and self-enumerated questionnaires


Original ICPSR Release:   1994-05-20

Version History:

  • 1998-04-20 The codebook, appendices, data collection instruments, and frequencies are now available as PDF files.

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