Extra beneficiant unemployment insurance coverage improves toddler well being outcomes – Healthcare Economist

An NBER paper by Dettling and Kearney (2023) finds that unemployment fee impacts each fertility charges and beginning outcomes. Utilizing information on beginning outcomes from Nationwide Heart for Well being Statistics, information on native unemployment from BLS’s Native Space Unemployment Statistics, information on the share of households who’re liquidity-constrained from the Survey of Shopper Funds.

Utilizing these information, they discover that every proportion level improve within the native unemployment reduces the fertility fee by ~1% pushed largely by liquidity constraints. Extra beneficiant unemployment insurance coverage attenuates the fertility influence.

Every 10 p.c improve within the UI alternative fee is related to a discount of about 0.5 p.c within the destructive influence of unemployment on fertility, in order that when UI replaces 100% of misplaced revenue, there is no such thing as a impact of unemployment charges on fertility charges.  

The evaluation finds that infants born throughout occasions of excessive unemployment usually tend to be born prematurely but additionally much less prone to be born with a low beginning weight. The latter end result, nevertheless, is probably going pushed by choice bias (i.e., those that determine to have youngsters throughout occasions of excessive unemployment usually tend to be comparatively larger revenue). possible larger revenue

The authors then study the potential influence of unemployment insurance coverage on beginning outcomes:

The evaluation finds that extra beneficiant UI mitigates the destructive results of unemployment on toddler well being. Absent UI, every 1 proportion level improve within the unemployment fee would improve the proportion of low-birth-weight infants by 0.17 proportion factors and the proportion of preterm births by 0.43 proportion factors. A UI alternative fee of about 75 p.c would totally offset these destructive results. On common, this is able to require changing $383 per week, or $17,000 over a full-term 44-week being pregnant. The price of beginning hospitalization for a Medicaid-insured preterm toddler is $42,000 larger than for a full-term toddler, implying that the web social return to offering such UI advantages can be optimistic.   

The NBER Digest abstract is here and the complete article here.