Professor of Economics Lara Shore-Sheppard Receives Research Grant

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., Oct. 8, 2010 — The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded a $173,844 grant to Williams College Professor of Economics Lara Shore-Sheppard.

Shore-Sheppard’s project will examine the characteristics of adults made newly eligible for Medicaid and subsidized health insurance coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). She will also examine how changes in family income over the course of a year affect eligibility for these subsidies. She will focus on answering four questions: (1) What is the extent of movement into and between the income-determined Medicaid and subsidy groups defined by PPACA? (2) What are the characteristics of the populations in these groups (e.g., demographics, employment status, enrollment in other public programs, current use of health services, and health and disability status)? (3) What characteristics and factors affect movement into and between groups? (4) What is the impact of economic factors on movement into and between groups?

The answers to these questions are important for state policymakers as they modify their Medicaid programs and design policies to satisfy new requirements under PPACA. The study will use both descriptive analysis and formal econometric modeling to address these questions.

Shore-Sheppard’s fields of specialization include health and labor economics, poverty and welfare policy, and wage distribution. She is the author of a number of papers and journal articles, including “Public Policy and the Dynamics of Children’s Health Insurance, 1986-1999,” with John Ham and Xianghong Li; “A Re-Examination of the Impact of Welfare Reform on Health Insurance Among Less-Skilled Women,” with John Ham and Xianghong Li; and “Stemming the Tide? The Effect of Expanding Medicaid Eligibility on Health Insurance Coverage.

She received her B.A. from Amherst College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University.


Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.

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