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Effects of infertility insurance mandates on fertility

  • Schmidt, Lucie

Infertility currently affects over 6 million individuals in the United States. While most health insurance plans nationwide do not cover infertility diagnoses or treatments, to date fifteen states have enacted some form of infertility insurance mandate. In this paper, I use data from the Vital Statistics Detail Natality Data and Census population estimates to examine whether these state-level mandates were successful in increasing fertility rates. Using a difference-in-differences approach, I exploit variation in the enactment of mandates both across states and over time, and identify control groups that should not have been affected by infertility coverage. My results suggest that the mandates significantly increase first birth rates for women over 35, and these results are robust to a number of specification tests.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 26 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 431-446

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:26:y:2007:i:3:p:431-446
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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  1. Jacob Alex Klerman, 1999. "U.S. Abortion Policy and Fertility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 261-264, May.
  2. Leslie E. Papke & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 1993. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(k) Plan Participation Rates," NBER Technical Working Papers 0147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Robert Kaestner & Kosali Ilayperuma Simon, 2002. "Labor Market Consequences of State Health Insurance Regulation," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(1), pages 136-159, October.
  4. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  5. Manning, Willard G. & Mullahy, John, 2001. "Estimating log models: to transform or not to transform?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 461-494, July.
  6. Lucie Schmidt, 2005. "Infertility Insurance Mandates and Fertility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 204-208, May.
  7. Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "State-mandated benefits and employer-provided health insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 433-464, November.
  8. Rajeev Dehejia & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2004. "Booms, Busts, and Babies’ Health," Working Papers 250, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  9. Lucie Schmidt, 2005. "Effects of Infertility Insurance Mandates on Fertility," Department of Economics Working Papers 2005-07, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  10. Marianne Bitler, 2005. "Effects of Increased Access to Infertility Treatment on Infant and Child Health Outcomes: Evidence from Health Insurance Mandates," PPIC Working Papers 2005.06, Public Policy Institute of California.
  11. Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 622-41, June.
  12. Phillip B. Levine, 2002. "The Impact of Social Policy and Economic Activity Throughout the Fertility Decision Tree," NBER Working Papers 9021, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Summers, Lawrence H, 1989. "Some Simple Economics of Mandated Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 177-83, May.
  14. Thomas S. Dee, 2001. "The Effects of Minimum Legal Drinking Ages on Teen Childbearing," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(4), pages 823-838.
  15. Marianne Bitler & Lucie Schmidt, 2006. "Health disparities and infertility: impacts of state-level insurance mandates," Department of Economics Working Papers 2006-04, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Nov 2006.
  16. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
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