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The Response of Births to Changes in Health Care Costs

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  • Arleen Leibowitz

Abstract

Data from a randomized controlled trial, The RAND Health Insurance Experiment, provide the opportunity to examine whether an exogenous short-term change in the cost of medical care affects fertility in a cross-section of women. Women randomly assigned to receive free medical care for three to five years had 29 percent more births than women who were assigned to insurance plans requiring cost-sharing for health services. This response to changes in health insurance suggests that loss of insurance coverage during recessions may attenuate the effect of lower time prices in increasing birth rates in economic downturns.

Suggested Citation

  • Arleen Leibowitz, 1990. "The Response of Births to Changes in Health Care Costs," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 697-711.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:25:y:1990:i:4:p:697-711
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lundberg, Shelly J, 1988. "Labor Supply of Husbands and Wives: A Simultaneous Equations Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 224-235, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jonathan Gruber, 2003. "Medicaid," NBER Chapters,in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 15-78 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Thomas DeLeire & Leonard Lopoo & Kosali Simon, 2011. "Medicaid Expansions and Fertility in the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(2), pages 725-747, May.
    3. Fein, David J., 2001. "Will welfare reform influence marriage and fertility? Early evidence from the ABC demonstration," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, pages 427-444.
    4. Theodore Joyce & Robert Kaestner, 1996. "The effect of expansions in medicaid income eligibility on abortion," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 33(2), pages 181-192, May.
    5. Apostolova-Mihaylova, Maria & Yelowitz, Aaron, 2015. "Health Insurance, Fertility, and the Wantedness of Pregnancies: Evidence from Massachusetts," MPRA Paper 61237, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Lincoln Groves & Sarah Hamersma & Leonard M. Lopoo, 2017. "Pregnancy Medicaid Expansions and Fertility: Differentiating between the Intensive and Extensive Margins," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 206, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
    7. Zavodny, Madeline & Bitler, Marianne P., 2010. "The effect of Medicaid eligibility expansions on fertility," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 918-924.

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