Public insurance and private savings: who is affected and by how much?

Alex Maynard and Jiaping Qiu

Journal of Applied Econometrics Vol. 24, Issue 2, March 2009.

This paper employs a recently developed instrumental quantile regression method to investigate the effect of Medicaid on household savings across different wealth groups. It finds that the disincentive effect of Medicaid on household savings is heavily concentrated in the middle net-worth households. These heterogeneous incentive effects are partly explained by Medicaid asset tests. Our findings hold regardless of whether affluence is measured in terms of wealth or income. They suggest that despite generating substantial crowd-out of the mean household, Medicaid expansions are unlikely to discourage the savings of the poorest households.