Economics ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-15-2019


This dissertation provides evidence to the two contentious debate over health policies and laws in the US, Medicaid expansion and sex offender registration and notification. In Chapter 2, I explore one key determinant of Medicaid take-up, the benefit of access to care proxied by the Medicaid-to-Medicare primary care physician payment ratio. Using a unique dataset of Medicaid physician reimbursement rates and the American Community Survey of 2010 – 14, I find that a 10-percentage-point increase in the payment ratio of a 30-minute new patient office visit will increase Medicaid enrollment among uninsured adults in poverty by more than 150,000. In Chapter 3, we re-examine the impact of Medicaid on birth outcomes. To mitigate the crowd-out from private insurance to Medicaid, we focus on the population eligible for Medicaid during its implementation period. Using predicted individual-level Medicaid treatment intensity among childbearing age women and state-level variation from Medicaid roll-out, we find that Medicaid provision shifted the labor delivery method from not in a hospital (with a midwife or a physician) to in a hospital and increased birth weight modestly. These impacts were driven by nonwhite mothers and mothers aged 30 – 49. Chapter 4 evaluates sex offenders’ crime-risk. Using the single-family residential property data of 2008 – 2018 and sex offender data of April 2019 in Maryland, we apply the spatial difference-in-difference method to estimate the crime risk capitalized into housing markets. The results suggest no negative impact on proximate home values within the 0.1-mile of sex offenders’ residences after their arrivals.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Economics

First Committee Member (Chair)

Xiaoxue Li, Co-chairperson

Second Committee Member

Brady P. Horn, Co-chairperson

Third Committee Member

Sarah S. Stith

Fourth Committee Member

Nicholas Edwardson




Medicaid, Access to care, Reimbursement rate, Birth outcomes, Sex offender laws, Property value

Document Type


Included in

Economics Commons