NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Lucie Schmidt

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Working Papers and Chapters

October 2013The Effect of Safety Net Programs on Food Insecurity
with Lara Shore-Sheppard, Tara Watson: w19558
Does the safety net reduce food insecurity in families? In this paper we investigate how the structure of benefits for five major safety net programs – TANF, SSI, EITC, food assistance, and Medicaid – affects low food security in families. We build a calculator for the years 2001-2009 to impute eligibility and benefits for these programs in each state, taking into account cross-program eligibility rules. To identify a causal effect of the safety net, we use simulated eligibility and benefits for a nationally representative sample as instruments for imputed eligibility and potential benefits. We also perform a two-sample instrumental variables estimation in which we use simulated benefits as instruments for actual reported benefits. Focusing on non-immigrant, single-parent families wi...
December 2011Utilization of Infertility Treatments: The Effects of Insurance Mandates
with Marianne P. Bitler: w17668
Over the last several decades, both delay of childbearing and fertility problems have become increasingly common among women in developed countries. At the same time, technological changes have made many more options available to individuals experiencing fertility problems. However, these technologies are expensive, and only 25% of health insurance plans in the United States cover infertility treatment. As a result of these high costs, legislation has been passed in 15 states that mandates insurance coverage of infertility treatment in private insurance plans. In this paper, we examine whether mandated insurance coverage for infertility treatment affects utilization. We allow utilization effects to differ by age and education, since previous research suggests that older, more educated...
September 2002The Welfare Implications of Increasing Disability Insurance Benefit Generosity
with John Bound, Julie Berry Cullen, Austin Nichols: w9155
The focus on efficiency costs in the empirical literature on Disability Insurance (DI) provides a misleading view of the adequacy of payment levels. In order to evaluate whether workers are over- or under-insured through the social insurance program, we develop a framework that allows us to simulate the benefits as well as the costs associated with marginal changes in payment generosity from a representative cross-sectional sample of the population. Under the assumption that individuals are reasonably risk averse, our simulations suggest the typical worker would value increased benefits somewhat above the average costs of providing them. However, we find that benefit increases tend to lower average utility when we average across all individuals in our sample, particularly at high levels...

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