Fear and the Safety Net: Evidence from Secure Communities

May 17, 2018

We study the impact of deportation fear on the incomplete take-up of federal safety net programs in the United States. We exploit changes in deportation fear due to the roll-out and intensity of Secure Communities (SC), an immigration enforcement program administered by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) from 2008 to 2014. The SC program empowers the federal government to check the immigration status of anyone arrested by local law enforcement agencies and has led to the issuance of over two million detainers and the forcible removal of approximately 380,000 immigrants. We estimate the spillover effects of SC on Hispanic citizens, finding significant declines in ACA sign-ups and food stamp take-up, particularly among mixed-status households and areas where deportation fear is highest. In contrast, we find little response to SC among Hispanic households residing in sanctuary cities. Our results are most consistent with network effects that perpetuate fear rather than lack of benefit information or stigma.

via Fear and the Safety Net: Evidence from Secure Communities by Marcella Alsan, Crystal Yang :: SSRN


Does Minimum Wage Affect Workplace Safety?

May 8, 2018

Empirical evidence on the employment effects of minimum wage legislation suggests the possibility that firms react to increases in low-skilled labor costs driven by minimum wages by reducing investments in non-wage job aspects, which can mitigate the need for layoffs. Such adjustments may involve the worsening of workplace safety. To evaluate the hypothesis that increases in minimum wages result in a higher incidence of occupational injuries and illnesses, I use employer-level data from the United States and variation in state minimum wages during 1996-2013. The results suggest that states which increase their minimum wage experience an increase in the incidence of occupational injuries and illnesses. The effect appears stronger in industries that employ large numbers of low-wage workers, and those where the workforce is intensively exposed to health risks.

via Does Minimum Wage Affect Workplace Safety? by Vít Hradil :: SSRN


The Effect of Health Insurance on Crime Evidence from the Affordable Care Act Medicaid Expansion

January 13, 2018

Little evidence exists on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on criminal behavior, a gap in the literature that this paper seeks to address. Using a one period static model of criminal behavior, I argue we should anticipate a decrease in time devoted to criminal activities in response to the expansion, since the availability of public health insurance not only has a pure negative income effect on crime but also raises the opportunity cost of crime. This prediction is particularly relevant for the ACA expansion, because it primarily affects childless adults, the population that is most likely to engage in criminal behavior. I validate this forecast using a difference-in-differences approach, estimating the expansion’s effects on a panel dataset of state- and county-level crime rates. My point estimates show that the ACA Medicaid expansion is negatively related to burglary, motor vehicle theft, criminal homicide, robbery, and aggravated assault. The value of this Medicaid expansion induced reduction in crime to expansion states is almost $10 billion per year.

via The Effect of Health Insurance on Crime Evidence from the Affordable Care Act Medicaid Expansion by Qiwei He :: SSRN


Major Blow to Obamacare Mandate: IRS Won’t Reject Tax Returns That Don’t Answer Health Insurance Question – Hit & Run : Reason.com

February 15, 2017

Earlier this month, the IRS quietly altered its rules to allow the submission of 1040s with nothing on line 61. The IRS says it still maintains the option to follow up with those who elect not to indicate their coverage status, although it’s not clear what circumstances might trigger a follow up.But what would have been a mandatory disclosure will instead be voluntary. Silent returns will no longer be automatically rejected. The change is a direct result of the executive order President Donald Trump issued in January directing the government to provide relief from Obamacare to individuals and insurers, within the boundaries of the law.

Source: Major Blow to Obamacare Mandate: IRS Won’t Reject Tax Returns That Don’t Answer Health Insurance Question – Hit & Run : Reason.com


The Impact of the Affordable Care Act Young Adult Provision on Childbearing, Marriage, and Tax Filing Behavior: Evidence from Tax Data by Bradley Heim, Ithai Lurie, Kosali Ilayperuma Simon :: SSRN

February 13, 2017

We use panel U.S. tax data spanning 2008-2013 to study the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) young adult provision on two important demographic outcomes — childbearing and marriage. The impact on childbearing is theoretically ambiguous, as gaining insurance may increase access to contraceptive services, while also reducing the out-of-pocket costs of childbirth. The impact on marriage is also ambiguous, as marriage rates may decrease when young adults have less need for dependent health insurance through a spouse, but may increase when they are now allowed to stay on their parent’s plans even if they are married. Changes in childbearing and marriage can, in turn, lead to changes in the likelihood of filing a tax return. Since W-2 forms record access to employer-provided fringe benefits, we were able to examine the impact of the coverage expansion by focusing on young adults whose parents have access to benefits. We compare those who are slightly younger than the age threshold to those who are slightly older. Our results suggest that the ACA young adult provision led to a modest decrease in childbearing and marriage rates, though the propensity to file a tax return did not change significantly.

Source: The Impact of the Affordable Care Act Young Adult Provision on Childbearing, Marriage, and Tax Filing Behavior: Evidence from Tax Data by Bradley Heim, Ithai Lurie, Kosali Ilayperuma Simon :: SSRN


The Effect of the Affordable Care Act on the Labor Supply, Savings, and Social Security of Older Americans

January 23, 2017

This paper assesses the effect of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the labor supply of Americans ages 50 and older. Using data from the Health and Retirement Study and the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, we estimate a dynamic programming model of retirement that accounts for both saving and uncertain medical expenses. Importantly, we model the two key channels by which health insurance rates are predicted to change: the Medicaid expansion and the subsidized private exchanges.

We show diferences in both total and out-of-pocket medical spending prior to the enactment of the ACA. We show that average total medical spending in MEPS is high for all groups. Perhaps surprisingly, those with no health insurance do not spend much more out-of-pocket than those who private insurance. Those uninsured receive health care through a variety 41 of sources such as worker’s compensation and default on medical bills, which we refer to as a “consumption foor”, which protects low income individuals against catastrophic medical spending. Those who appear to have the highest resources appear to be those who pay the most for health care, consistent with the view that those with low resources are covered by the consumption foor, whereas those with high resources face the most medical expense risk and might have the largest labor supply responses.

Source: Abstract


Did the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid Expansion Increase the Ability for Low-Income Households to Self-Insure? by Daeyong Lee :: SSRN

January 21, 2017

This article examines the effects of the Medicaid expansion on household financial income by focusing on the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act extended Medicaid program to childless adults and eliminated the asset-test for its eligibility from 2014. Using the March Current Population Survey Supplement Data, I find that households with no dependent children and income below the 100% federal poverty level living in Medicaid-expansion states significantly increased the annual dividend (interest) income by 63 (84) dollars after the Medicaid expansion. Meanwhile, the financial assistance these households received from relatives or friends was reduced by 159 dollars after the expansion.

Source: Did the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid Expansion Increase the Ability for Low-Income Households to Self-Insure? by Daeyong Lee :: SSRN