Long-term impacts of childhood Medicaid expansions on crime
Hendrix, Logan James
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This paper examines the effects of public health insurance expansions among children in the 1980s and 1990s on their criminal activity later in life. Using a panel of the states' 1980-1990 birth cohorts and a simulated eligibility instrumental variables strategy, I find that increases in the fraction of children eligible for public health insurance lead to substantial reductions in criminal activity. Considering the extraordinary costs of crime to victims, public budgets, and offenders, these findings suggest a previously unrecognized substantial benefit to the provision of public health insurance to children.