"The Spillover Effects of Expanding Medicaid for Parents on Children’s Preventive Health Services Use: Evidence from Louisiana" (Job Market Paper)
Abstract: On July 1, 2016, Louisiana expanded Medicaid income eligibility limits for parents from 24% to 138% of the federal poverty level, resulting in substantial insurance coverage gains. Several studies have documented the effects of Medicaid enrollment on use of health care services by the direct beneficiaries, but far fewer have focused on spillovers to the children of those direct beneficiaries. I use a difference-in-differences (DD) regression analysis and Louisiana Medicaid administrative data to estimate the effect of Medicaid expansion on well-child visits, dental exam visits and immunization visits for children aged 3 to 17. My treatment group is comprised of the children with Medicaid coverage whose parents became newly enrolled in Medicaid only after the expansion. The control group consists of children covered by Medicaid whose parents were consistently enrolled in Medicaid before and after the expansion. The results suggest that children whose parents gained coverage under the expansion are 2.20 percentage points (5.06%) more likely to have at least one well-child visit, 5.80 percentage points (8.41%) more likely to have an immunization visit and 0.30 percentage points (0.84%) more likely to have a dental exam in the following year. These effects are larger for children under age 12 and for households with more children. The cost-benefit analysis suggests that there are substantial net savings of $30,646,495.71 for all of the three preventive health services use.
"The Impact of Parental Involvement in Abortion Laws on Adolescent Educational Attainment and Labor Force Participation"
Abstract: Most states require parental involvement in a minor’s decision to obtain an abortion, that is, minors need to present evidence that one or both parents have been notified of or consented to the procedure before allowing an abortion to go forward. The years in which a parental involvement in abortion law is enforced vary by state. Several studies have examined the impact of parental involvement laws on abortion use and teen births, but the effect of this policy on long-term indicators such as educational attainment and employment status is not well studied. Using American Community Survey (ACS) data and Natality data, this study investigates the impact of parental involvement laws on adolescent educational attainment and labor force participation in a difference-in-differences framework. The treatment group is comprised of women who were exposed to the policy between 15 and 17 while the control group consists of women who were not exposed to the policy. The results suggest that parental involvement laws in abortion lower the probability of completing high school and college. Also, the parental involvement laws have the negative effect on labor force participation and employment status.
"In Debt and Alone? How Student loans Shape Marriage and Childbearing in Young Adulthood" (with John H. Edwards and Feng Chen)
Abstract: This paper uses data from the 1997 cohort of National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to examine if student loan debt delays the first marriage and the first childbirth, and to evaluate the effect of student debt on the probability of first marriage and first childbirth. We first use the hazard model to evaluate whether young adults’ education loan debt delays the first marriage and having a first child. Considering the nonrandom selection of student loans, we also use average region-year tuition as an instrumental variable to evaluate the effect of student debt on the probability of the first marriage and the probability of having a first child. The results of hazard model indicate that students who own student loan are 9.2% less likely to have first marriage and 9.1% less likely to have a first child, while the IV results suggest that students who own student loan debt are 19% less likely to get married and 8.4% less likely to have a child.