Friday, February 10, 2023

Multigenerational Impacts of Childhood Access to the Safety Net.

In an open source article in the January issue of the American Economic Review East et al. show that early life exposure to Medicaid enhances the next generation's health.
We examine multigenerational impacts of positive in utero health interventions using a new research design that exploits sharp increases in prenatal Medicaid eligibility that occurred in some states. Our analyses are based on US Vital Statistics natality files, which enables linkages between individuals' early life Medicaid exposure and the next generation's health at birth. We find evidence that the health benefits associated with treated generations' early life program exposure extend to later offspring. Our results suggest that the returns on early life health investments may be substantively underestimated.

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