The Impact of the Affordable Care Act Young Adult Provision on Childbearing, Marriage, and Tax Filing Behavior: Evidence from Tax Data

28 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2017 Last revised: 6 Feb 2017

See all articles by Bradley Heim

Bradley Heim

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA)

Ithai Lurie

U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Tax Analysis (OTA)

Kosali Ilayperuma Simon

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: January 2017

Abstract

We use panel U.S. tax data spanning 2008-2013 to study the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) young adult provision on two important demographic outcomes—childbearing and marriage. The impact on childbearing is theoretically ambiguous, as gaining insurance may increase access to contraceptive services, while also reducing the out-of-pocket costs of childbirth. The impact on marriage is also ambiguous, as marriage rates may decrease when young adults have less need for dependent health insurance through a spouse, but may increase when they are now allowed to stay on their parent’s plans even if they are married. Changes in childbearing and marriage can, in turn, lead to changes in the likelihood of filing a tax return. Since W-2 forms record access to employer-provided fringe benefits, we were able to examine the impact of the coverage expansion by focusing on young adults whose parents have access to benefits. We compare those who are slightly younger than the age threshold to those who are slightly older. Our results suggest that the ACA young adult provision led to a modest decrease in childbearing and marriage rates, though the propensity to file a tax return did not change significantly.

Suggested Citation

Heim, Bradley and Lurie, Ithai and Simon, Kosali Ilayperuma, The Impact of the Affordable Care Act Young Adult Provision on Childbearing, Marriage, and Tax Filing Behavior: Evidence from Tax Data (January 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23092. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2907895

Bradley Heim (Contact Author)

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA) ( email )

1315 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Ithai Lurie

U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Tax Analysis (OTA) ( email )

1500 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 22203
United States

Kosali Ilayperuma Simon

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA) ( email )

1315 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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