IDSS Distinguished Seminar – Amy Finkelstein (MIT)
December 13, 2016 | 4-5pm | 32-141

Abstract:  The Impact of Expanding Medicaid: Evidence from the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment

What is the impact of expanding public health insurance coverage to uninsured low-income adults? The Oregon Health Insurance Experiment presents a rare opportunity to investigate this important economic and policy question using a randomized evaluation; in 2008 the state of Oregon conducted a lottery in which some low income adults were randomly assigned the ability to apply for Medicaid. The talk will describe the results, including how Medicaid affects recipients’ health, healthcare use, and financial security. It will then discuss the interpretation of the results, including estimates of the value of Medicaid to recipients, and of transfers to other parties (such as hospitals) who were previously providing substantial implicit insurance for the low-income uninsured.

Biography:  Amy Finkelstein is the John & Jennie S. MacDonald Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is the co-Scientific Director of J-PAL North America, a research center at MIT designed to encourage and facilitate randomized evaluations of important domestic policy issues. She is also the co-Director of the Public Economics Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a member of the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Fellow of the Econometric Society.
She has received numerous awards and fellowships including the John Bates Clark Medal (2012), given annually to the economist under the age of 40 who is judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge. Other awards include the American Society of Health Economists’ ASHEcon Medal (2014), awarded biennially to the economist age 40 or under who has made the most significant contributions to the field of health economics, a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2009), the American Economic Association’s Elaine Bennett Research Prize (2008) and a Sloan Research Fellowship (2007). She has also received awards for graduate student teaching (2012) and graduate student advising (2010) at MIT.
She is one of the two Principal Investigators for the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment, a randomized evaluation of the impact of extending Medicaid coverage to low income, uninsured adults. More information about this study is available here: http://www.nber.org/oregon/


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