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Saving Babies: The Efficacy and Cost of Recent Changes in the Medicaid Eligibility of Pregnant Women

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  • Currie, Janet
  • Gruber, Jonathan

Abstract

The authors provide direct evidence on the effect of health insurance on health outcomes by examining the dramatic increases in the eligibility of pregnant women for the Medicaid program between 1979 and 1992. They find that the 30-percentage-point rise in Medicaid eligibility significantly lowered the incidence of low birth weight and infant mortality. Targeted changes in Medicaid eligibility that were restricted to specific low-income groups had much larger effects on birth outcomes than broader expansions of eligibility to women with higher income levels because of much lower take-up of this entitlement by the latter group. Copyright 1996 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Currie, Janet & Gruber, Jonathan, 1996. "Saving Babies: The Efficacy and Cost of Recent Changes in the Medicaid Eligibility of Pregnant Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1263-1296, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:104:y:1996:i:6:p:1263-96
    DOI: 10.1086/262059
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    References listed on IDEAS

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