Health insurance eligibility, utilization of medical care, and child health

Janet Currie, Jonathan Gruber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

501 Scopus citations


We study the effect of public insurance for children on their utilization of medical care and health outcomes by exploiting recent expansions of the Medicaid program to low-income children. These expansions doubled the fraction of children eligible for Medicaid between 1984 and 1992. Take-up of these expansions was much less than full, however, even among otherwise uninsured children. Despite this take-up problem, eligibility for Medicaid significantly increased the utilization of medical care, particularly care delivered in physicians' offices. Increased eligibility was also associated with a sizable and significant reduction in child mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-466
Number of pages36
JournalQuarterly Journal of Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics


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