NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Laura R. Wherry

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Working Papers and Chapters

February 2015Childhood Medicaid Coverage and Later Life Health Care Utilization
with Sarah Miller, Robert Kaestner, Bruce D. Meyer: w20929
Policy-makers have argued that providing public health insurance coverage to the uninsured lowers long-run costs by reducing the need for expensive hospitalizations and emergency department visits later in life. In this paper, we provide evidence for such a phenomenon by exploiting a legislated discontinuity in the cumulative number of years a child is eligible for Medicaid based on date of birth. We find that having more years of Medicaid eligibility in childhood is associated with fewer hospitalizations and emergency department visits in adulthood for blacks. Our effects are particularly pronounced for hospitalizations and emergency department visits related to chronic illnesses and those of patients living in low-income neighborhoods. Furthermore, we find suggestive evidence that these ...
August 2012Saving Teens: Using a Policy Discontinuity to Estimate the Effects of Medicaid Eligibility
with Bruce D. Meyer: w18309
This paper uses a policy discontinuity to identify the immediate and long-term effects of public health insurance coverage during childhood. Our identification strategy exploits a unique feature of several early Medicaid expansions that extended eligibility only to children born after September 30, 1983. This feature resulted in a large discontinuity in the lifetime years of Medicaid eligibility of children at this birthdate cutoff. Those with family incomes at or just below the poverty line had close to five more years of eligibility if they were born just after the cutoff than if they were born just before. We use this discontinuity in eligibility to measure the impact of public health insurance on mortality by following cohorts of children born on either side of this cutoff from childh...

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

 
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