Health and Crime
Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
- Chair: Trevon Logan, Ohio State University
The Financial Instability Cost of Shrinking Public Health Insurance
AbstractThe main goal of health insurance is to smooth out the financial risk that comes with health shocks and health care. Nevertheless, there has been relatively sparse evidence on how health insurance affects financial outcomes. Current studies focus on how gaining health insurance affects financial outcomes. In this paper, we contribute to this literature by exploring the effects of losing public health insurance on financial risk outcomes. We use the 2005 TennCare disenrollment - which dropped about 170,000 individuals from Medicaid - as the plausibly exogenous shock to health insurance status. We use across and within-county variation in the size of the disenrollment, linked with individual level credit score and debt data to identify the effects. We find that the disenrollment lead to a reduction in 1.57 points in credit risk scores for the average resident in a county with the median TennCare enrollment. We also have suggestive evidence of increases in amount and share of debt that is delinquent (90 days past its due date). These findings have potentially important implications for recent state public health insurance expansions that are part of federal health care reform.
The Impact of Federal Law Enforcement Grants on Drug Arrests: Evidence From the Edward Byrne Program
AbstractWe estimate the effectiveness of the Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Program, a grant program authorized under the 1986 and 1988 Anti-Drug Abuse Act to combat illicit drug abuse and to improve the criminal justice system, on racial bias in policing. Funds for the Byrne Grant program were available for a variety of purposes to combat drug crimes, as well as violent and other drug related crimes. Event-study analysis suggests that implementation of this grant program resulted in an increase in police hiring and an increase in arrests for drug trafficking. Post-treatment effect implies a 107 percent increase in white arrests for drug sales compared to a 44 percent increase for blacks, 6 years after the first grant is received. However due to historical racial differences in drug arrest rates, the substantial increase in white drug arrests still results in large racial disparities in drug arrests. This is supported by weighted least squares regression estimates that show, for every $100 increase in Byrne Grant funding, arrests for drug trafficking increased by roughly 22 per 100,000 white residents and by 101 arrest per 100,000 black residents. The results provide strong evidence that federal involvement into narcotic control and trafficking led to an increase in apprehension of drug offenders; disproportionally affecting blacks.
- I1 - Health
- K4 - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior