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Did Expanding Medicaid Affect Welfare Participation?

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Abstract

Using data from the 1988-1996 Current Population Surveys (CPS), we re-examine the evidence presented in Yelowitz (1995) showing that expansions in Medicaid eligibility for children were associated with increased labor force participation and reduced participation in Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) among single mothers. We find that Yelowitz's results were the result of two factors. First, he imposed a strong restriction on the parameter estimates that is not predicted by theory and is rejected in the CPS data. Second, he used only one of the two income tests that families must pass to be eligible for AFDC, resulting in higher imputed AFDC breakeven income levels for larger families. Once these problems are addressed, the Medicaid income limits have no significant effect on AFDC participation. The AFDC income limits, however, are significantly related to welfare and labor force participation in both his original sample and the entire 1988-1996 sample.

Suggested Citation

  • John C. Ham & Lara D. Shore-Sheppard, 2003. "Did Expanding Medicaid Affect Welfare Participation?," Department of Economics Working Papers 2003-08, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  • Handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2003-08
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    1. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 2001. "Welfare, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Labor Supply of Single Mothers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 1063-1114.
    2. 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.
    3. Moffitt, Robert & Wolfe, Barbara L, 1992. "The Effect of the Medicaid Program on Welfare Participation and Labor Supply," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(4), pages 615-626, November.
    4. Aaron S. Yelowitz, 1995. "The Medicaid Notch, Labor Supply, and Welfare Participation: Evidence from Eligibility Expansions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 909-939.
    5. David M. Cutler & Jonathan Gruber, 1996. "Does Public Insurance Crowd out Private Insurance?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 391-430.
    6. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Depew, Briggs, 2015. "The effect of state dependent mandate laws on the labor supply decisions of young adults," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 123-134.
    2. Brigitte C. Madrian, 2005. "The U.S. health care system and labor markets," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 50(Jun), pages 137-163.
    3. Thompson, Owen, 2017. "The long-term health impacts of Medicaid and CHIP," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 26-40.
    4. Robert Kaestner & Bowen Garrett & Jiajia Chen & Anuj Gangopadhyaya & Caitlyn Fleming, 2017. "Effects of ACA Medicaid Expansions on Health Insurance Coverage and Labor Supply," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 36(3), pages 608-642, June.
    5. Adam Looney, 2005. "The effects of welfare reform and related policies on single mothers' welfare use and employment," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Laura Dague & Thomas DeLeire & Lindsey Leininger, 2017. "The Effect of Public Insurance Coverage for Childless Adults on Labor Supply," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 124-154, May.
    7. Robert A. Moffitt, 2012. "The U.S. Employment-Population Reversal in the 2000s: Facts and Explanations," Economics Working Paper Archive 604, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
    8. repec:eee:pubeco:v:149:y:2017:i:c:p:20-34 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Boyle, Melissa A. & Lahey, Joanna N., 2016. "Spousal labor market effects from government health insurance: Evidence from a veterans affairs expansion," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 63-76.
    10. Levine Phillip B & Schanzenbach Diane, 2009. "The Impact of Children's Public Health Insurance Expansions on Educational Outcomes," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-28, May.
    11. John C. Ham & Xianghong Li & Lara Shore-Sheppard, 2009. "Seam Bias, Multiple-State, Multiple-Spell Duration Models and the Employment Dynamics of Disadvantaged Women," NBER Working Papers 15151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Thomas Buchmueller & John C. Ham & Lara D. Shore-Sheppard, 2015. "The Medicaid Program," NBER Chapters,in: Economics of Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, volume 1, pages 21-136 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Le, Nga T.Q. & Groot, Wim & Tomini, Sonila & Tomini, Florian, 2017. "Effects of health insurance on labour supply: Evidence from the health care fund for the poor in Viet Nam," MERIT Working Papers 050, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    14. Robert A. Moffitt, 2012. "The Reveral of the Employment-Population Ratio in the 2000s: Facts and Explanations," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 43(2 (Fall)), pages 201-264.
    15. Boudreaux, Michel & Lipton, Brandy, 2018. "Medicaid Benefit Generosity and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from Medicaid Adult Vision Benefits," MPRA Paper 83916, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. repec:mrr:papers:wp341 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Sang-Hyop Lee & Gerard Russo & Lawrence H. Nitz & Abdul Jabbar, 2005. "The Effect of Mandatory Employer-Sponsored Insurance (ESI) on Health Insurance Coverage and Labor Force Utilization in Hawaii: Evidence from the Current Population Survey (CPS) 1994-2004," Working Papers 200512, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    18. Vincent Pohl, 2014. "Medicaid and the Labor Supply of Single Mothers: Implications for Health Care Reform," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 15-222, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    19. Nga Le Thi Quynh & Groot, Wim & Tomini, Sonila M. & Tomini, Florian, 2017. "Effects of health insurance on labour supply: A systematic review," MERIT Working Papers 017, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    20. Zavodny, Madeline & Bitler, Marianne P., 2010. "The effect of Medicaid eligibility expansions on fertility," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(5), pages 918-924, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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