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Medicare and the Geography of Financial Health

Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham, Maxim Pinkovskiy and Jacob Wallace

No 2020-004, Working Papers from Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group

Abstract: We use a five percent sample of Americans’ credit bureau data to study the effects of public health insurance on the geography of consumer financial health. Exploiting the (nearly) universal eligibility for Medicare at age 65, we find a 30 percent reduction in debt collections with limited effects on other financial outcomes. Medicare reduces the geographic variation in collections by two-thirds at age 65, and halves the geographic correlation between collections and demographics like race and education. Areas that experienced larger gains in financial health at age 65 had higher shares of black residents, people with disabilities, and for-profit hospitals.

Keywords: credit bureau data; public health insurance; geographic variation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I13 E50 J15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ias and nep-mac
Note: MIP
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http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Goldsm ... financial-health.pdf First version, January 15, 2020 (application/pdf)

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Working Paper: Medicare and the Geography of Financial Health (2020) Downloads
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