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The Effect of Medicaid Expansions in the Late 1980s and Early 1990s on the Labor Supply of Pregnant Women

  • Dhaval M. Dave
  • Sandra L. Decker
  • Robert Kaestner
  • Kosali Ilayperuma Simon

A substantial body of research has found that expansions in Medicaid eligibility increased enrollment in Medicaid, reduced the rate of uninsured, and reduced the rate of private health insurance coverage (i.e., crowd out). Notably, there has been little research that has examined the mechanism by which crowd-out occurs. This study examines the effects of expansions in Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women in the late 1980s and the early 1990s on labor supply, which is one of the possible mechanisms underlying crowd out. Estimates suggest that the 20 percentage point increase in Medicaid eligibility during the sample period was associated with a 6% to 7% decrease in the probability that a woman who gave birth in the past year was employed. Among unmarried women with less than a high school education, the change in Medicaid eligibility reduced employment by approximately 13% to 16%.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19161.

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Date of creation: Jun 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19161
Note: CH HC HE LS PE
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  1. Anne E. Winkler, 1991. "The Incentive Effects of Medicaid on Women's Labor Supply," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(2), pages 308-337.
  2. Cutler, David M & Gruber, Jonathan, 1996. "Does Public Insurance Crowd Out Private Insurance?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 391-430, May.
  3. Lara D. Shore-Sheppard, 2005. "Stemming the Tide? The Effect of Expanding Medicaid Eligibility on Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 11091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Anthony T. LoSasso & Thomas C. Buchmueller, 2002. "The Effect of the State Children's Health Insurance Program on Health Insurance Coverage," NBER Working Papers 9405, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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