Institutional Affiliation: University of Colorado Denver
|Multi-generational Impacts of Childhood Access to the Safety Net: Early Life Exposure to Medicaid and the Next Generation’s Health|
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We examine multi-generational impacts of positive in utero and early life health interventions using state-year variation in public health insurance expansions that targeted low-income pregnant women and children. We use restricted use Vital Statistics Natality files to create a unique dataset linking individuals’ childhood Medicaid exposure to the next generation’s health outcomes at birth. We find robust evidence that the health benefits associated with treated generations’ early life access to Medicaid extend to later offspring’s birth outcomes. Our results imply that the return on investment is larger than suggested by evaluations of the program that focus only on treated cohorts.