The Effect of the Affordable Care Act Dependent Care Mandate on Job Quality

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The Ohio State University

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The Dependent Care Mandate (DCM) was one of the earliest provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to be implemented. The policy addressed the high rates of uninsurance amongst young adults by allowing them to remain on their parents' health insurance plans until their 26th birthday. The DCM has been extensively studied in literature, however the full extent of how the policy impacts labor market outcomes is still not well understood. In this paper, I aim to extend the literature by examining how the DCM affected job quality and other labor market outcomes for young adults aged 23-25 compared to young adults aged 28-30, who would not have been affected by the policy. Using a triple difference model that accounts for variation in state mandates, age, and time, I find that the DCM had no significant impact on job quality, employment status, or wage, but did have a significant impact on employment status, part-time employment, employer sponsored health insurance coverage, weeks worked per year, and hours worked per week. However, these effects may be due to age and year fixed effects.