Will extending medicaid to two-parent families encourage marriage?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Several welfare programs in the United States restrict eligibility to single-parent families. This paper asks whether eliminating this restriction for Medicaid encourages marriage. I identify Medicaid's effect through a series of health insurance reforms that were passed in the 1980s and 1990s targeting young children. These reforms were associated with an increase in the probability of marriage of 1.7 percentage points. While the expansions offered some incentives to become married, they also created other incentives to become divorced (known as the 'independence effect'). After controlling for the outflows from marriage due to the independence effect, the estimated effect increases by 10 percent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)833-865
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Human Resources
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'Will extending medicaid to two-parent families encourage marriage?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this