Does Expanding Medicaid Eligibility for Children Reduce Racial Disparities in Later-Life Labor Market Outcomes?

Publication Date


Grant Type

Early Career Research Award


This project will assess whether public health insurance expansions for children reduce racial disparities in later-life labor market outcomes. My analysis will leverage a 1990 federal policy that increased Medicaid eligibility for children born after September 30, 1983. This resulted in a large discontinuity in cumulative years of eligibility of children born after the date cutoff. As a result of this policy, Black children experienced a much larger increase in insurance coverage than children of other races. Using nationally representative longitudinal survey data and a regression discontinuity design that compares outcomes of people born just before versus just after the cutoff, I will examine the effect of the policy on later-life labor market outcomes for Black and non-Black individuals. The results of this study will shed light on the long-term economic returns to public investments in children through policies such as Medicaid expansion.