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Cross-State Variation in Medicaid Programs and Female Labor Supply

  • Edward Montgomery
  • John Navin
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    Although the Medicaid program is partially controlled by the federal government, there is considerable latitude in the ability of states to set eligibility requirements and the types of services available to recipients. This research examines the impact of different state Medicaid programs on the decision to enter the labor force and the number of hours worked by female heads of households. A pooled cross-section data set constructed from the 1988 through 1993 Current Population Survey March Supplements is used to test if different benefit levels across states impact labor supply behavior. This study adds to the existing Medicaid literature by incorporating new benefit measures and explicitly controlling for state random and fixed effects. OLS results support the prediction that Medicaid expenditures reduce labor supply, but controlling for state fixed or random effects alters the effect of both the AFDC and Medicaid programs on both the decision to participate as well as the number of hours worked of female heads of households. We also consider the effects of policy endogeneity on these estimates using instruments for state welfare generosity and find evidence that estimates of the effect of welfare on labor supply are sensitive to the failure to control for time-varying policy endogeneity.

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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5492.

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    Date of creation: Mar 1996
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: published as Montgomery, Edward and John C. Navin. "Cross-State Variation In Medicaid Programs And Female Labor Supply," Economic Inquiry, 2000, v38(3,Jul), 402-418.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5492
    Note: HE LS
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    1. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-91, October.
    2. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 2000. "Unnatural Experiments? Estimating the Incidence of Endogenous Policies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(467), pages F672-94, November.
    3. Moffitt, Robert, 1983. "An Economic Model of Welfare Stigma," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1023-35, December.
    4. Hilary Williamson Hoynes, 1995. "Does Welfare Play Any Role in Female Headship Decisions?," NBER Working Papers 5149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Aaron Yelowitz, 1995. "The Medicaid Notch, Labor Supply and Welfare Participation: Evidence from Eligibility Expansions," UCLA Economics Working Papers 738, UCLA Department of Economics.
    6. Borjas, George J. & Sueyoshi, Glenn T., 1994. "A two-stage estimator for probit models with structural group effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1-2), pages 165-182.
    7. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1978. "A Note on a Random Coefficients Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 19(3), pages 793-96, October.
    8. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
    9. Rebecca M. Blank, 1989. "The Effect of Medical Need and Medicaid on AFDC Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(1), pages 54-87.
    10. 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.
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