Economics at your fingertips  

Medicaid Stigma

Arik Levinson and Sjamsu Rahardja ()
Additional contact information
Arik Levinson and Sjamsu Rahardja: Department of Economics, Georgetown University,

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Arik Levinson ()

Working Papers from Georgetown University, Department of Economics

Abstract: This paper uses the National Survey of America's Families (NSAF) to examine whether the low take-up rate for publicly provided health insurance is caused by welfare stigma that people associate with those programs. The NSAF asks several questions related to welfare stigma, including whether respondents believe that welfare makes people work less, or whether welfare helps people get back "on their feet." If stigma plays a role in take-up, then among eligible patients, those who neglect to enroll in Medicaid will have more negative attitudes towards welfare, all else equal. As a second approach, we test the predictions of a Moffitt (1983) utility function, with fixed and variable stigma from public benefits. In the end, we believe we can demonstrate that stigma plays a large and statistically significant role in deterring Medicaid take-up, but we cannot distinguish responses to Medicaid benefits (which should have no variable stigma) from responses to Food Stamps (which should have large variable stigma). Finally, the results of this research, while of academic interest in their own right, also have substantial policy implications. If low Medicaid take-up is caused by welfare stigma, the policy prescription is much different than if low take-up is caused by paperwork hassles, lack of information, or perceived low quality of care.

JEL-codes: I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2004-04-06
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (6) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) Full text (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
Roger Lagunoff Professor of Economics Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Working Papers from Georgetown University, Department of Economics Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Marcia Suss ().

Page updated 2019-08-23
Handle: RePEc:geo:guwopa:gueconwpa~04-04-06