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A discrete choice decomposition analysis of racial and ethnic differences in children's health insurance coverage


  • Pylypchuk, Yuriy
  • Selden, Thomas M.


This paper presents a multivariate decomposition analysis of racial and ethnic differences in children's health insurance using the 2004-2005 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. We present two methodological contributions. First, we adapt a recently-developed matching decomposition method for use with sample-weighted data. Second, we develop a fully nonparametric approach that implements decomposition through weight adjustments. Accounting for the black-white wealth gap: a nonparametric approach. Journal of the American Statistical Association 97, 663-673]. Differences in observed characteristics explain large percentages of racial and ethnic coverage differences. Important contributors include poverty levels, parent education, family structure (for black children), and immigration-related factors (for Hispanic children). We also examine racial and ethnic differences in parent offers of employer-sponsored insurance and in children's coverage conditional on having a parent offer. Comparison of our linear, nonlinear, and nonparametric results suggests researchers may face a trade-off between robustness and precision when selecting among decomposition methodologies for discrete outcomes.

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  • Pylypchuk, Yuriy & Selden, Thomas M., 2008. "A discrete choice decomposition analysis of racial and ethnic differences in children's health insurance coverage," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 1109-1128, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:27:y:2008:i:4:p:1109-1128

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Barsky R. & Bound J. & Charles K.K. & Lupton J.P., 2002. "Accounting for the Black-White Wealth Gap: A Nonparametric Approach," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 663-673, September.
    8. Janet Currie, 2000. "Do Children of Immigrants Make Differential Use of Public Health Insurance?," NBER Chapters,in: Issues in the Economics of Immigration, pages 271-308 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    11. Erin R. Hamilton & Robert A. Hummer & Xiuhong H. You & Yolanda C. Padilla, 2006. "Health Insurance and Health-Care Utilization of U.S.-Born Mexican-American Children," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1280-1294.
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    1. repec:kap:reveho:v:15:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11150-015-9300-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Bowblis, John R. & Yun, Myeong-Su, 2010. "Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Use of Drug Therapy," IZA Discussion Papers 4853, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Stewart Williams, Jennifer Anne, 2009. "Using non-linear decomposition to explain the discriminatory effects of male-female differentials in access to care: A cardiac rehabilitation case study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(7), pages 1072-1079, October.
    4. Johar, Meliyanni & Jones, Glenn & Keane, Micheal P. & Savage, Elizabeth & Stavrunova, Olena, 2013. "Discrimination in a universal health system: Explaining socioeconomic waiting time gaps," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 181-194.
    5. Zhang, Hao & Bago d’Uva, Teresa & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2015. "The gender health gap in China: A decomposition analysis," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 18(C), pages 13-26.
    6. Linda Dynan, 2009. "The Contribution of Economists to Understanding Racial Health Disparities in the US," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 37(3), pages 213-223, September.

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