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Welfare Reform, Labor Supply, and Health Insurance in the Immigrant Population

  • George J. Borjas

Although the 1996 welfare reform legislation limited the eligibility of immigrant households to receive assistance, many states chose to protect their immigrant populations by offering state-funded aid to these groups. I exploit these changes in eligibility rules to examine the link between the welfare cutbacks and health insurance coverage in the immigrant population. The data reveal that the cutbacks in the Medicaid program did not reduce health insurance coverage rates among targeted immigrants. The immigrants responded by increasing their labor supply, thereby raising the probability of being covered by employer-sponsored health insurance.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9781.

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Date of creation: Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 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.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9781
Note: HE LS
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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. Lara D. Shore-Sheppard, 2005. "Stemming the Tide? The Effect of Expanding Medicaid Eligibility on Health Insurance," Department of Economics Working Papers 2005-06, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  3. Esel Y. Yazici & Robert Kaestner, 1998. "Medicaid Expansions and The Crowding Out of Private Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 6527, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Rachel M. Friedberg & J. Hunt, 1995. "The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth," Working Papers 95-5, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  5. John Ham & Lara Dawn Shore-Sheppard, 2000. "The Effect of Medicaid Expansions for Low-Income Children on Medicaid Participation and Insurance Coverage: Evidence from the SIPP," JCPR Working Papers 164, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  6. Francine D. Blau, 1984. "The use of transfer payments by immigrants," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 37(2), pages 222-239, January.
  7. George J. Borjas & Lynette Hilton, 1995. "Immigration and the Welfare State: Immigrant Participation in Means- Tested Entitlement Programs," NBER Working Papers 5372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Faini,Riccardo C. & de Melo,Jaime & Zimmermann,Klaus (ed.), 1999. "Migration," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521662338, October.
  9. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1997. "The Role of the Family in Immigrants' Labor-Market Activity: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 705-27, September.
  10. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
  11. Janet Currie, 2000. "Do Children of Immigrants Make Differential Use of Public Health Insurance?," NBER Chapters, in: Issues in the Economics of Immigration, pages 271-308 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Harriet Duleep & Seth Sanders, 1993. "The decision to work by married immigrant women," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(4), pages 677-690, July.
  14. 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.
  15. Rask, Kevin N. & Rask, Kimberly J., 2000. "Public insurance substituting for private insurance: new evidence regarding public hospitals, uncompensated care funds, and medicaid," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 1-31, January.
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