Co-funded with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes many provisions that expand health insurance coverage for women of reproductive age (15-44). By lowering financial barriers to reproductive services, these provisions may affect a woman’s decision to have a child, or prevent an unwanted pregnancy. They may also affect the demographic and socioeconomic composition of women with a recent birth. Changes in fertility (the birth rate among women of reproductive age) may, in turn, contribute to changes in school enrollment and labor force participation among these women.
Economists Anuj Gangopadhyaya and Emily Johnston will investigate the extent to which ACA Medicaid expansions affected (1) fertility, (2) the characteristics of recent mothers, and (3) school enrollment and labor force supply among women of reproductive age. Among women for whom there is an observed fertility effect, they will also explore the extent to which coverage affects these women's decisions about education and employment.