Degree Year

2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Economics

Advisor(s)

Barbara Craig
Hirschel Kasper

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) on children's educational progress, namely whether they are on track with their expected educational trajectory. It also examines cross-state variation in Medicaid policies and whether these different policies lead to different effects on the educational variable. With individual-level data from the Current Population Survey from years 1995 through 2006, along with information regarding each state's Medicaid policies, I seek to test the hypotheses that Medicaid/CHIP coverage will improve the likelihood of an individual being on track with his/her education and that states with qualitatively "better" Medicaid policies will see stronger positive effects on that educational measure. Using an ordinary least squares regression model composed of Medicaid/CHIP indicators, demographic characteristics, state dummies, and state*Medicaid interaction terms, I find that, counter to the past research underlying these hypotheses, there is evidence that being covered by Medicaid or CHIP has a small, but statistically significant, negative impact on whether a child is on track with his/her education in a given year. Furthermore, there is no evidence of a discernible pattern linking qualitatively "better" state Medicaid programs to higher values for the dependent variable. Further evidence suggests, however, that there may be a cumulative positive effect of Medicaid/CHIP coverage; that is, longer exposure to available public health insurance programs is shown to have a positive impact on whether an individual is on track with his/her education. Although the data did not support the original hypotheses, this analysis does provide support for the idea that there is some relationship between Medicaid/CHIP coverage and educational variable, and therefore points to the importance of future research in this area.

Included in

Economics Commons

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