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Is Welfare Reform Responsible for Low-Skilled Women’s Declining Health Insurance Coverage in the 1990s?

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  • Thomas DeLeire
  • Judith A. Levine
  • Helen Levy

Abstract

We use data from the 1989–2001 March Supplements to the Current Population Survey to determine whether welfare reform contributed to declines in health insurance coverage experienced by low-skilled women. Between 1988 and 2000, women with less than a high school education experienced an 8.0 percentage point decline in the probability of having health insurance. Against this backdrop of large declines, welfare waivers and TANF are associated with modest increases in coverage for low-skilled women of 2.3 and 3.6 percentage points respectively. Overall, our findings suggest that welfare reform did not contribute to declines in coverage but rather offset them somewhat.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas DeLeire & Judith A. Levine & Helen Levy, 2006. "Is Welfare Reform Responsible for Low-Skilled Women’s Declining Health Insurance Coverage in the 1990s?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(3).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:41:y:2006:i:3:p495-528
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Shore-Sheppard, Lara & Buchmueller, Thomas C. & Jensen, Gail A., 2000. "Medicaid and crowding out of private insurance: a re-examination using firm level data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 61-91, January.
    2. Jeffrey Grogger, 2004. "Time Limits and Welfare Use," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
    3. Ham, John C. & Shore-Sheppard, Lara, 2005. "The effect of Medicaid expansions for low-income children on Medicaid participation and private insurance coverage: evidence from the SIPP," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 57-83.
    4. Borjas, George J., 2003. "Welfare reform, labor supply, and health insurance in the immigrant population," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 933-958, November.
    5. Farber, Henry S. & Levy, Helen, 2000. "Recent trends in employer-sponsored health insurance coverage: are bad jobs getting worse?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 93-119, January.
    6. Rebecca M. Blank, 2001. "What Causes Public Assistance Caseloads to Grow?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, pages 85-118.
    7. Ham, John C. & Shore-Sheppard, Lara, 2005. "The effect of Medicaid expansions for low-income children on Medicaid participation and private insurance coverage: evidence from the SIPP," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 57-83.
    8. Kaestner, Robert & Kaushal, Neeraj, 2003. "Welfare reform and health insurance coverage of low-income families," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 959-981, November.
    9. James P. Ziliak & David N. Figlio & Elizabeth E. Davis & Laura S. Connolly, 2000. "Accounting for the Decline in AFDC Caseloads: Welfare Reform or the Economy?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(3), pages 570-586.
    10. Blumberg, Linda J. & Dubay, Lisa & Norton, Stephen A., 2000. "Did the Medicaid expansions for children displace private insurance? An analysis using the SIPP," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 33-60, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hope Corman & Dhaval M. Dave & Dhiman Das & Nancy E. Reichman, 2013. "Effects Of Welfare Reform On Illicit Drug Use Of Adult Women," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 653-674, January.
    2. Marianne Bitler & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2006. "Welfare Reform and Indirect Impacts on Health," NBER Working Papers 12642, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Dave, Dhaval M. & Reichman, Nancy E. & Corman, Hope & Das, Dhiman, 2011. "Effects of welfare reform on vocational education and training," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1399-1415.
    4. James P. Ziliak, 2015. "Temporary Assistance for Needy Families," NBER Chapters,in: Economics of Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, volume 1, pages 303-393 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & Averett, Susan L. & Bansak, Cynthia, 2014. "Welfare Reform and Immigrant Fertility," IZA Discussion Papers 8153, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Dhaval Dave & Hope Corman & Nancy Reichman, 2012. "Effects of Welfare Reform on Education Acquisition of Adult Women," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 251-282, June.
    7. Narain, Kimberly & Bitler, Marianne & Ponce, Ninez & Kominski, Gerald & Ettner, Susan, 2017. "The impact of welfare reform on the health insurance coverage, utilization and health of low education single mothers," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 28-35.
    8. Ayala, Luis & Rodríguez, Magdalena, 2013. "Health-related effects of welfare-to-work policies," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 103-112.
    9. Corman, Hope & Dave, Dhaval M. & Reichman, Nancy E., 2014. "Effects of welfare reform on women's crime," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-14.
    10. Tara Watson, 2014. "Inside the Refrigerator: Immigration Enforcement and Chilling Effects in Medicaid Participation," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, pages 313-338.
    11. Dhaval M. Dave & Nancy E. Reichman & Hope Corman, 2008. "Effects of Welfare Reform on Educational Acquisition of Young Adult Women," NBER Working Papers 14466, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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