Social Networks And Access To Health Care Among Mexican-Americans
This paper explores social networks and their relationship to access to health care among adult Mexican-Americans. The authors use data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) linked to data from the 2000 U.S. Census and other data sources. They analyze multiple measures of access to health care. Measures of social networks are constructed at the ZCTA level and include percent of the population that is Hispanic, percent of the population that speaks Spanish, and percent of the population that is foreign-born and Spanish-speaking. Regressions are stratified by insurance status and social network measures are interacted with individual-level measures of acculturation. For insured Mexican-American immigrants, living in an area populated by relatively more Hispanics, more immigrants, or more Spanish-speakers increases access to care.