Degree Year

2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Economics

Advisor(s)

Barbara J. Craig
Paul A. Brehm
Martin Saavedra

Keywords

Affordable Care Act, Dependent coverage mandate, Mortality, Young adults, Health care, Health insurance, Dependent coverage

Abstract

I add to literature investigating the effects of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) dependent coverage mandate (DCM). I examine how the mandate, which increased health insurance coverage for 19 to 25 year-olds, impacted short-run mortality rates for the affected age group. Unlike previous research, I examine if and how young adult mortality was affected differentially by race. I use data from the CDC’s “WONDER” database to conduct difference-in-difference analysis to assess the effects of the policy change on mortality. I find that the DCM had a significant negative impact on mortality rates for the affected age group as a whole, but that African Americans and Asians and Pacific Islanders missed out on the effect. I then briefly investigate what might have driven these racially disparate impacts, but do not produce a conclusive explanation. During that investigation, I also offer a causally-identified estimate of the magnitude of the DCM’s effect on health coverage.

Included in

Economics Commons

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