Presented by Martha Bailey
Assistant Professor of Economics
University of Michigan
Andrew J. Goodman-Bacon
Graduate Student of Economics
University of Michigan
Monday, May 7, 2012; 12:30 - 1:30 p.m., questions / discussion until 2:00 p.m.
Parrington Hall Commons, Room 308
University of Washington

Martha Bailey is an Assistant Professor of Economics, a faculty affiliate of the National Poverty Center, and a research associate of the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan. Dr. Bailey is also a research affiliate at CESifo and a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics at Vanderbilt University. In past appointments, she was a Robert Wood Johnson scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of Michigan from 2005-2007 and a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley from 2010-2011. Her research has examined the determinants of the U.S. baby boom and the impact of changes in contraceptive technology on women’s childbearing and labor decisions and has been published in the American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics, American Economic Journal-Macroeconomics, as well as other journals. Her current work focuses on evaluating the long-term effects of U.S. family planning programs on poverty, the relationship between community health centers and mortality and health, and the impacts of contraceptive and abortion policy on demographic transition. Her work earned her the CESifo Distinguished Research Affiliate Award for Best Paper by an Economist under 35 in 2009.

Andrew Goodman-Bacon is a PhD candidate in economics at the University of Michigan. His primary research interests include labor economics and the evaluation of domestic anti-poverty policies. In past work, with Leslie McGranahan, he studied the effect of the Earned Income Tax Credit on household consumption. His current work examines effect of the Community Health Center program on the mortality of older adults, and the relationship of male incarceration with women’s use of public assistance benefits. Before entering the PhD program at the University of Michigan, he worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

This paper uses the rollout of the first Community Health Centers (CHCs) to estimate the long-term health effects of increasing access to primary care. The results show that CHCs reduced age-adjusted mortality rates among those 50 and older by almost 2 percent within 10 years. The implied 6- to 8-percent decrease in one-year mortality risk among the treated amounts to 18 to 24 percent of the 1966 poor-nonpoor mortality gap for this age group. Large effects for those 65 and older suggest that increased access to primary care has long-term benefits, even for populations with near universal health insurance.

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