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Multigenerational Impacts of Childhood Access to the Safety Net: Early Life Exposure to Medicaid and the Next Generation's Health

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  • Chloe N. East
  • Sarah Miller
  • Marianne Page
  • Laura R. Wherry

Abstract

We examine multigenerational impacts of positive in utero health interventions using a new research design that exploits sharp increases in prenatal Medicaid eligibility that occurred in some states. Our analyses are based on US Vital Statistics natality files, which enables linkages between individuals' early life Medicaid exposure and the next generation's health at birth. We find evidence that the health benefits associated with treated generations' early life program exposure extend to later offspring. Our results suggest that the returns on early life health investments may be substantively underestimated.

Suggested Citation

  • Chloe N. East & Sarah Miller & Marianne Page & Laura R. Wherry, 2023. "Multigenerational Impacts of Childhood Access to the Safety Net: Early Life Exposure to Medicaid and the Next Generation's Health," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 113(1), pages 98-135, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:113:y:2023:i:1:p:98-135
    DOI: 10.1257/aer.20210937
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    Cited by:

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    6. Esra Kose & Siobhan M. O'Keefe & Maria Rosales-Rueda, 2022. "Does the Delivery of Primary Health Care Improve Birth Outcomes? Evidence from the Rollout of Community Health Centers," NBER Working Papers 30047, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Libertad González Luna & Sofia Trommlerová, 2021. "Prenatal transfers and infant health: Evidence from Spain," Economics Working Papers 1783, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    8. Konstantin Kunze, 2022. "Public Health Insurance of Children and Parental Labor Market Outcomes," Working Papers 349, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    9. Borgschulte, Mark & Guenzel, Marius & Liu, Canyao & Malmendier, Ulrike, 2023. "CEO Stress, Aging, and Death," IZA Discussion Papers 16366, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Laura Rodríguez, 2022. "Violence and newborn health: Estimates for Colombia," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(1), pages 112-136, January.
    11. Bhashkar Mazumder & Maria Fernanda Rosales-Rueda & Margaret Triyana, 2023. "Social Interventions, Health, and Well-Being: The Long-Term and Intergenerational Effects of a School Construction Program," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 58(4), pages 1097-1140.
    12. Hoehn-Velasco, Lauren & Pesko, Michael & Phillips, Serena, 2022. "The Long-Term Impact of In-Utero Cigarette Taxes on Adult Prenatal Smoking," IZA Discussion Papers 15656, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    14. Libertad González & Sofia Trommlerová, 2021. "Prenatal Transfers and Infant Health: Evidence from Spain," Working Papers 1261, Barcelona School of Economics.
    15. Jonathan Colmer & John Voorheis, 2020. "The Grandkids Aren't Alright: The Intergenerational Effects of Prenatal Pollution Exposure," Working Papers 20-36, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    16. Hilary W. Hoynes & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2018. "Safety Nets Investments in Children," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 49(1 (Spring), pages 89-150.
    17. Baker, Jennifer L. & Bjerregaard, Lise G. & Dahl, Christian M. & Johansen, Torben S. D. & Sørensen, Emil N. & Wüst, Miriam, 2023. "Universal Investments in Toddler Health. Learning from a Large Government Trial," IZA Discussion Papers 16270, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Beuermann, Diether W. & Pecha, Camilo J., 2020. "The effect of eliminating health user fees on adult health and labor supply in Jamaica," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    19. Zhang, Zihan & Kim, Jun Hyung, 2023. "The Inheritance of Historical Trauma: Intergenerational Effects of Early-Life Exposure to Famine on Mental Health," IZA Discussion Papers 16385, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    20. Nobles, Jenna & Hamoudi, Amar, 2019. "Detecting the Effects of Early-Life Exposures: Why Fecundity Matters," SocArXiv x4zm6, Center for Open Science.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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