Grants and Contracts Details
Rural Near-elderly under the Shock of COVID-related Job Loss: Exploring the Relationship between COVID-related Job Loss and Health Outcomes among Adults Aged 50-64 Living in Rural America Project Summary This project is to investigate the effect of COVID-related job loss on various health outcomes for adults aged 50-64 living in rural America (rural near-elderly) and the mitigating effect of Medicaid expansion on such relationship. As the COVID resulted in millions of Americans’ job loss, rural near-elderly who accounted for about 30% of rural population may be more disproportionately affected by job loss during the pandemic because of rural vulnerability and unique characteristics of near-elderly (e.g., high medical demand and reliance on employer- sponsored health plans). Although there have been adequate literature on the adverse impact of job loss on health outcomes and emerging evidence that people’s mental health outcomes were worsened by COVID-19 pandemic due to unemployment, few research establishes the relationship between COVID-related unemployment and various health outcomes beyond mental health for the near-elderly in rural communities. To fill this research gap, we will leverage Difference-in-Differences method and the 2016-2020 Health Retirement Study to address the following specific aims: (1) identifying the causal effects of COVID-related job loss on health outcomes for the near-elderly population; (2) estimating the moderating effect of Medicaid expansion on the association between job loss and health outcomes; (3) evaluating the rural- urban heterogeneity in such effects. Our study will provide timely evidence on causal effects of COVID-related job loss and the buffering effect of Medicaid expansion on health outcomes among rural near-elderly, which closely aligns with this priority area of the Interdisciplinary Network on Rural Population Health and Aging in “[i]dentify[ing] relationships between economic livelihood strategies, economic well-being, and health among middle- and older-age adults in rural America”. Thus, this study will advance our understanding of how job loss during the pandemic affected rural near-elderly and the analysis of Medicaid expansion can inform policymakers of potential strategies to improve overall health of vulnerable populations. Further, this study will pave the way for a National Institute on Aging proposal to evaluate the long-term impact of COVID-related job loss on rural older population.
|Effective start/end date||12/15/22 → 5/31/24|
- The Pennsylvania State University: $22,730.00
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