Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
Medicaid is a program that uses funds from the states and federal government to provide healthcare coverage to millions of Americans. A key goal of the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) was to expand Medicaid eligibility to include all adults with income below 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Unintended labor supply consequences may arise due to this eligibility expansion. This paper seeks to determine what the effect of the ACA’s Medicaid eligibility expansion on labor supply is.
In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled to make the expansion optional for states. As a result, many states chose not to expand Medicaid. This analysis uses a treatment group comprised of the swing states that adopted the ACA’s Medicaid eligibility expansion on January 1, 2014, and a control group of the swing states that have not adopted it. Applying a difference-in-differences research design, I evaluate labor supply (typical hours worked per week) using data from the American Community Survey. My results suggest that the ACA’s Medicaid eligibility expansion did not have a significant effect on labor supply for the overall sample population. However, the expansion significantly increased the typical hours worked per week for women by 0.531 hours. Men also experienced a statistically significant change to their labor supply. It reduced their typical hours worked per week by 0.364 hours. The opposing results for men and women appear to balance each other out in the results for the overall sample population. The behavioral differences between men and women explain the discrepancy in their results.
Hebert, Shannon, "The Effect of the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid Eligibility Expansion on Labor Supply". Senior Theses, Trinity College, Hartford, CT 2019.
Trinity College Digital Repository, https://digitalrepository.trincoll.edu/theses/776