Medicaid Generosity and Food Hardship Among Children

Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (forthcoming), DOI: 10.1002/pam.22557

36 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2022 Last revised: 3 Jan 2024

See all articles by Nicholas Moellman

Nicholas Moellman

Winthrop University

Cody Vaughn

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse - Department of Economics

Date Written: December 3, 2023

Abstract

We explore the role of the largest non-food support safety net program, Medicaid, on multiple measures of food hardship among households with children, including measures that capture hardship explicitly experienced by children. Using data from the 2001-2020 waves of the December Current Population Survey, we identify the effect of having a Medicaid eligible child on household food hardship by exploiting between state, over-time, and between household income eligibility criteria. We find that having an eligible child reduces rates of household food insecurity and very low food security by 19% & 24%, respectively. Among children themselves, eligibility reduces rates of food insecurity and very low food security by 20% each. The effects are stronger for Black and Hispanic households as well as households that have children under 6 years old.

Keywords: Medicaid, Food Insecurity, Childhood Food Hardship, Child Well-Being

JEL Classification: I13, I31, I38, J13

Suggested Citation

Moellman, Nicholas and Vaughn, Cody, Medicaid Generosity and Food Hardship Among Children (December 3, 2023). Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (forthcoming), DOI: 10.1002/pam.22557, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4077297 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4077297

Nicholas Moellman

Winthrop University ( email )

304 Thurmond Bldg.
Rock Hill, SC 29773
United States

Cody Vaughn (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse - Department of Economics ( email )

1725 State Street
La Crosse, WI 54601
United States

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