Development and Financial History
Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 10:15 AM - 12:15 PM
- Chair: Carola Frydman, Northwestern University
Health Insurance, Hospitals, or Both? Evidence From the United Mine Workers’ Health Care Programs
AbstractShould the government subsidize health insurance, health care facilities, or both? The United States has subsidized both for many decades, targeting under-served populations and geographic areas. We study these questions in the first rigorous quantitative analysis of two major natural experiments in Appalachian coal country. In the early 1950s, the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) coal mining union began to provide free health insurance to coal miners and their families. A few years later, the UWMA opened ten new state-of-the-art hospitals in Appalachia. These interventions give us the unique opportunity to separately identify (i) the effect of health insurance from (ii) the effect of hospitals after communities get health insurance for the same place, time, and population. To do so, we use difference-in-differences at the county-year level. We find that the health insurance had large effects on pregnant women and infants. A woman’s probability of delivering her baby in a hospital increased from 60 percent to over 90 percent. The probability of her infant dying before the age of one decreased from 36 to 9 per 1,000. For the new hospitals, crowd-out was relatively low. Adding UMWA hospitals increased hospital beds by more than 50 percent. Health care workers more than doubled.
The Aftermath of Policy Failures: The Southern Homestead Act and the Freedman’s Savings Bank in Florida
AbstractInequality in the United States has increased dramatically during the past several decades. This trend has been pronounced for some minority groups with the black-white wealth and income gaps yet to recover from the economic downturn of 2007. Policies aimed at reducing racial inequality have been enacted many times since the emancipation of slavery in the United States. While some have had limited success, many have failed to achieve their desired outcomes. When policy fails, the consequences for affected recipients may not be the same as if no policy at all had been enacted. Reconstruction provides fertile ground for examining the impact of failed policies on their intended recipients. The Southern Homestead Act (SHA) of 1866 provided a path to land ownership for former slaves and is largely regarded as a failure. The Freedmen’s Bank provided banking services to former slaves before its collapse in 1874. Despite the prominence and failure of both the SHA and the Freedmen’s Bank, relatively little is known about their impacts on former slaves. Florida, one of the few states with surviving, legible, records for both the SHA and Freedmen’s Bank, provides a unique opportunity to evaluate the impact of these failed policies. I have collected records for all successful SHA homesteaders, a relatively complete sample of failed homesteaders, the depositor records for the Freedmen’s Bank in Tallahassee, the index to depositors in Jacksonville, and the entirety of 1880 agricultural census for the state. I linked these to the pre-existing 100 percent IPUMS sample of Florida in 1880. With these records, the African-American population can be divided into five categories that are not mutually exclusive: successful homesteaders, failed homesteaders, those who never homesteaded, Freedmen’s bank account holders, and non-bank account holders. I am currently analyzing the impact of each status on economic outcomes in 1880.
The Quality of Banks at Stigmatized Lending Facilities
AbstractWhen the names of banks that borrow from an emergency lending facility are inadvertently leaked, the facility may become stigmatized. We examine how the quality of the borrowing pool of banks changed when stigma was unexpectedly introduced at a once-confidential lending facility during the Great Depression. This facility experienced a compositional shift in the quality of its borrowing pool, where only weaker banks that maintained smaller liquidity buffers used the facility, while an alternative confidential facility attracted stronger banks. Our results shed light on how the design of lending facilities may attract certain types of banks.
- N3 - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy
- N2 - Financial Markets and Institutions