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Welfare Reform and Health

Author

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  • Marianne Bitler
  • Jonah Gelbach
  • Hilary Hoynes

Abstract

We investigate the relationship between welfare reform and health insurance, health care utilization, and self-reported measures of health status for women aged 20-45, using nationally representative data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. We present estimates from both difference-in-difference models (applied to single women and single women with children) and difference-in-difference-in-difference models (using married women and single women without children as comparison groups). We find that welfare reform is associated with reductions in health insurance coverage and specific measures of health care utilization, as well as an increase in the likelihood of needing care but finding it unaffordable. We find no statistically significant effects of reform on health status. Overall, effects are somewhat larger for Hispanics compared to blacks and low educated women.

Suggested Citation

  • Marianne Bitler & Jonah Gelbach & Hilary Hoynes, 2004. "Welfare Reform and Health," NBER Working Papers 10549, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10549
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Marianne P. Bitler & Jonah B. Gelbach & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2006. "What Mean Impacts Miss: Distributional Effects of Welfare Reform Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 988-1012, September.
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    5. Anna Aizer & Jeffrey Grogger, 2003. "Parental Medicaid Expansions and Health Insurance Coverage," NBER Working Papers 9907, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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