Do Children on Medicaid Benefit from a Weak Labor Market? Evidence from the Great Recession

39 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2019 Last revised: 30 Mar 2020

See all articles by Jiajia Chen

Jiajia Chen

University of Illinois at Chicago - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 13, 2020

Abstract

In this article, I estimate the association between weak labor market conditions and the quantity of office-based physician services received by children enrolled in Medicaid. I find that children use more services in areas with higher unemployment during the Great Recession, and the result is not influenced by changes in sample composition. The association could reflect either demand factors such as worsening health or supply factors such as changes in the number of physicians willing to accept Medicaid patients. I provide several pieces of evidence supporting a supply-side mechanism: higher unemployment reduces the demand for physician services by privately-insured patients. Physicians respond to the demand shock by serving more Medicaid enrollees.

JEL Classification: I11, I13, E32

Suggested Citation

Chen, Jiajia, Do Children on Medicaid Benefit from a Weak Labor Market? Evidence from the Great Recession (March 13, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3484320 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3484320

Jiajia Chen (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

725 University Hall (UH)
Chicago, IL 60607-7121
United States

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