Top PDF Three Essays in the Economics of Child Health and Development

Three Essays in the Economics of Child Health and Development

Three Essays in the Economics of Child Health and Development

cigarettes, adjusted for inflation to 2000 dollars. There are also several other state/county/year- varying policies that might affect infant birth outcomes; these controls are in the vector P. We include a simulated variable to account for changes in public health insurance eligibility. It is constructed the same way as Currie and Gruber (1996). Using a 1990 national sample, we calculate for each state and each year the percent of infant and children who would be eligible for Medicaid or State Child Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP). This variable varies only by legislative generosity within each state and over time, which does not capture the demographic characteristics of an actual state population that might affect infant health outcomes. We also control for the maximum Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) or Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) benefit for a 3-person family in each state and year. County-level control variables in the model are: annual unemployment rate, per capita personal income and population. 10 We merge the data on bans and policy controls to the infant birth data by state/county of infant birth and quarter/year of conception, which is imputed using birth month, birth year and weeks of gestation. 11 The summary statistics of smoking bans, cigarette taxes and other state level controls are presented in Table 1.
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Three Essays in Development Economics

Three Essays in Development Economics

On the contrary, a few studies do not find similar evidence. Evidence from Gumus and Regan (2009) studies the same series of tax amendments to TRA86 as in Heim and Lurie (2010) but uses CPS data from 1996-2007. They find insignificant effects of the policy on the probability of being self-employed. They argue that despite the full deductibility of the health insurance premium for the self-employed, it may not be sufficient to compensate for high search costs, restriction of pre-existing conditions, and high premium costs of the private non-group market. Holtz-Eakin (1994) uses the variation of state laws in allowing portable health insurance, i.e. allowing workers to continue purchasing health insurance after leaving the job. The study finds no effect of employment-linked insurance on the propensity to be entrepreneurs. The author also concludes that it is unlikely that the introduction of universal health insurance would significantly enhance entrepreneurial activities. Chavda (2015) studies the 2006 reform of the Massachusetts health care market and its effects of the entrepreneurship. The author provides evidence that the increase in self-employment disap- peared with better control techniques such as county border matching and synthetic control strategies. The study also provides results confirming the negative relationship between tax rates and entrepreneurship. Thus, the policy’s future rise in taxation could counter- balance the policy’s short-term increase in business. The author also provides evidence of heterogeneity of business creation, showing more positive impacts on the capital-intensive in- dustries, relative to less capital-intensive industries. The study concludes that entrepreneurs are probably limited by factors, other than health insurance.
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Three essays in development economics

Three essays in development economics

even a well-designed tax system might be undermined by poor administration. However, the human capital variable might go some way to capturing citizens’ ability to understand and comply with tax laws, and the inclusion of the tax level (as a share of GDP), to an extent, serves as a control for the ability of the government to administer the tax system. 102 Parallel to difficulty in accounting for the ability of a country to collect different taxes, it is also difficult to control for the cost of collecting different types of taxes. The above analysis, and related studies in the literature, assume that the costs of collecting different taxes are equal. This is, of course, unlikely to be true in practice. Similarly, studies of this nature assume that tax design does not matter for growth but again, it obviously does. IMF (2013) makes this clear, noting the difference between a corporate tax on rents and one on total returns; the former would not affect the marginal incentive to invest whilst the latter most certainly would. Whilst the assumption of revenue-neutrality makes possible this kind of empirical analysis, there may be limits to the insights presented; many tax authorities in developing countries may altar their tax mix in the hope that the tax ratio itself increases. Furthermore, the magnitudes of the coefficients are quite small, suggesting limited direct effects of any RN changes in the tax mix on long run GDP growth rates. Finally, the distinction between domestic taxes on goods and services and trade taxes is often somewhat blurry, especially in developing countries; whilst one country collecting VAT at the border might classify this as a trade tax, the next may count it as a tax on goods and services. Thus, the results that distinguish between domestic consumption and trade taxes should be interpreted with this in mind. It is hoped that future development of the GRD will seek to improve in this respect.
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Three Essays on Development and Labor Economics

Three Essays on Development and Labor Economics

My dissertation comprises three empirical studies on development and labor economics. The first two essays are in the context of National Employment Guarantee Schemes (thereafter, NREGA) in India. In the first one, I study whether existing inequality hinders the implementations of NREGA, using district-level data on land ownership distribution and the implementations of NREGA. To address potential endogeneity issues, I leverage a historical institu- tion in India, the land revenue collection system established by British colonial rulers during 1750-1861, to construct an instrumental variable for land inequal- ity. Both OLS and instrumental variable results give robust evidence that the concentration of land ownership reduces public works provision. This relation- ship could be explained by the mechanism that public works schemes raise agri- cultural wages in the private labor market, thereby incentivizing big landlords to use their political power to oppose this program. This paper provides the first empirical evidence that the concentration of landownership, a proxy for political power, is a hurdle to providing public employment to the poor. In the second essay, I focus on the participants of NREGA and study the wage bar- gaining effect of participating in NREGA. Using a household level panel and a difference-in-differences framework, I find indirect evidence that participat- ing in NREGA would increase the wage bargaining power for both participants themselves and for their spouses in the private labor market.
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Three Essays on International Trade and Development Economics

Three Essays on International Trade and Development Economics

Finally, my work adds to the development economics literature. Specifically, this paper helps to understand the relationship between commodity booms and structural transformations across regions in a nation. Different from previous work I highlight the relevance of the general equilibrium effects mechanisms to understand the consequences of commodity booms. Traditionally, the development economics literature regarding the local impacts of commodity booms focuses in the Resource Curse, the existence of negative political and economic local outcomes after a commodity boom (Ishak and Meon, 2020; Litschig, 2012; Monteiro and Ferraz, 2012; Aragon and Rud, 2013; Brollo et al, 2013; Caselli and Michaels, 2013; Dube and Vargas, 2013; Aragon and Rud, 2016; Carreri and Dube, 2017). Nevertheless, this literature omits general equilibrium effects and by doing so, the external validity of these empirical exercises becomes weaker. One of the conclusions of my paper is to show that general equilibrium effects are highly relevant, hence, the direction and size of the impacts of commodity booms might depend on the IO linkages, the domestic trade costs and the sectoral composition of the regions.
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Three essays on the economics of human capital development

Three essays on the economics of human capital development

In England, there are differences in the measured academic performance of different primary schools, and places at the best schools are hotly contested. Many families move house to secure a place at good schools (Hansen, 2014): 18 per cent of parents reported moving house during the two years prior to starting primary school, for reasons to do with their child’s education. This preference for good schools is capitalised into house prices. Gibbons & Machin (2003) show that an 1 percentage point increase in the share of local pupils meeting the required academic target increases house prices by 0.67% in England. While the majority of families are offered a place at their preferred school, some in- evitably miss out. Not attending a preferred school may influence outcomes via attending a lower quality school, being exposed to a different peer mix, or a sub-optimal school match for the child. This setting offers an opportunity to credibly assess the effects of a perceived early-life “shock”, both on child development and parental responses. For ex- ample, parents may respond to this perceived disadvantage by paying for private tuition, which is increasingly prevalent among primary school pupils in England, or helping with homework.
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Three Essays in Health Economics

Three Essays in Health Economics

boys fare poorly educationally and in the labor market. Since ADHD adversely ef- fects cognitive and non-cognitive development, excess male-female gaps in ADHD rates for non-traditional families are consistent with worse adult outcomes for boys from disadvantaged backgrounds. 3 But from what does the gap arise? Lundberg, Pabilonia, and Ward-Batts (2007) and Bertrand and Pan (2013) show that single mothers spend less time with male children, while boys in two-parent households receive the same or more parental time investment than girls. However, Bertrand and Pan (2013) find that differences in parental time investment explain only a small portion of the gender gap in externalizing behavior. Alternatively, Gershon and Gershon (2002) show that girls with ADHD more frequently have internalizing symptoms, and manifest fewer symptoms overall, while boys more often have hy- peractive and externalizing symptoms. It is certainly possible that non-traditional families are less able to cope with boys ADHD symptoms, which are more likely to be disruptive due to their externalizing nature, and are therefore more likely to seek help and obtain a diagnosis. While there is still a lot to learn about why boys fare relatively worse than girls in non-traditional families, ADHD is known to affect short and long-run outcomes and the results in this paper clearly document huge excess male-female gaps in ADHD in non-traditional families.
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Three Essays on Commodity Markets and Health Economics

Three Essays on Commodity Markets and Health Economics

Obesity is a common risk factor associated with many chronic diseases, and its increasing prevalence has imposed tremendous financial burden on countries un- dergoing rapid economic development. Although there are numerous studies on the undesirable economic and health consequences of obesity in developed countries, aca- demic research is relatively silent on its impacts on developing countries. But this does not imply it is not an important topic in these countries. According to a recent survey (Ng et al. 2014) conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evalua- tion at the University of Washington, China has the second largest obese population (more than 62 million) in the world. According to the Report on the Nutrition and Chronic Disease Status of Chinese Residents by the National Health and Family Planning Commission of the Peoples Republic of China (2014), the overweight and obesity rates of Chinese adults are 30.15% and 11.9% respectively in 2014, signifi- cantly increased from 22.85% and 7.1% in 2002. Body mass index (BMI), defined as height/weight 2 (meters/kg 2 ), is a common measure to classify overweight and obesity. Using nationally representative household surveys, we depict an increasing trend of obesity and overweight percentages of Chinese adults from 1991 to 2011 in Figure 4.1 below.
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Three essays on the economics of patents

Three essays on the economics of patents

Patents are, by their own right, an interesting topic of study, in part because there is no clear conclusion about the balance between the positive effects (promote innovations) and the negative ones (market power for example) of having a patent system. However, there are other points to take into account since nowadays, some of them re- late to the complexity of patent rights. Such complexities are derived from the actual development of science and the efficiency of the le- gal system to determine whether an invention is in fact a nontrivial improvement of knowledge.

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Three essays in labor economics

Three essays in labor economics

Social scientists have also explored the cultural-driven north-south gradient in LTC arrange- ments across European countries. The elderly are more likely to be instituzionalized (i.e. in nursing homes), and more likely to use formal health care services in Continental and Scandinavian coun- tries than in Mediterranean countries (e.g., Bolin et al., 2008). Costa-Font (2010) offers a cultural explanation for this phenomenon and, more generally, for the limited development of the LTC in- surance market in many countries. He finds that family ties appear to influence the decisions to purchase LTC insurance, and that European countries with stronger family ties exhibit lower levels of formal LTC coverage. This is consistent with the sociologists’ view according to which “weak” and “strong” family ties countries show very different cultural norms about the role of the family in taking care of the elderly (Reher, 1998). Nevertheless, in these studies the presence of significant differences among Southern, Central and Northern European countries in LTC utilization might be driven by the large differences in institutional settings. Indeed, economic conditions, institutional factors and cultural norms are very difficult, if not impossible, to disentangle using cross-country studies.
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Three essays on the economics of education

Three essays on the economics of education

A socioeconomic questionnaire in the registration process provides rich and detailed in- formation on students’ family background, individual characteristics, and previous education information, such as the type and the location of school attended in the primary and sec- ondary education system. The data include all candidates who took the entrance exam in the year of 2005, about 55,000, and follows those who pass the entrance exam into the university. To better identify the effect of interest, we impose some restrictions in the sample. First, we consider only students living in the state of Pernambuco, given students coming from other states are likely to be a very selective group and there is no information about which high school they graduated from. These students are likely to come from the top of the income distribution because they face higher costs of going to another state to take the exam, may be highly motivated to enter the university and are likely to be applying to highly competitive majors. Secondly, we remove all students enrolled in a private school, given the focus of the paper is on measuring differences between urban and rural public school students and their performance in the university. Finally, we do not include students who graduated from high school via the supletivo method as well as all students taking the exam as a mock exam. The supletivo method is offered by the Ministry of Education as an alternative education method for those individuals who had either dropped out or did not have the chance to start school at the recommended age or had large grade-for-age distortions. It is very similar to the General Educational Development (GED) certification studied by Heckman and LaFontaine (2007).
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Three Essays in Applied Health Economics

Three Essays in Applied Health Economics

I would like to begin by thanking my chair, Tom Buchmueller. Tom has been a constant source of support and encouragement throughout my graduate studies, and his efforts have been instrumental in my development as a health researcher. I am grateful to him for believing in my ideas and abilities even at times when I did not. I would also like to thank the rest of my committee – Scott Masten, Sarah Miller, Edward Norton, and Yesim Orhun – for their help and guidance. Scott has provided me with a wealth of detailed feedback and writing tips on various projects, and I am grateful to him for guiding me through my first experience as an instructor. Sarah has been kind and generous with her time since my first week of graduate school, and her research has been a constant reminder (and inspiration) of the impact that studying health care has on advancing health policy for vulnerable populations. Edward has been an invaluable resource throughout my graduate studies, and I credit his courses in health econometrics with helping me to develop an understanding of material that I had found difficult and at times overwhelming. Yesim has been helpful and encouraging, and her detailed feedback on early drafts of this dissertation greatly improved my approach.
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Three Essays on Information Economics

Three Essays on Information Economics

A direct application of the model is a technology firm’s innovation process. R&D involves multiple layers of uncertainty. The skill of the R&D team determines whether a breakthrough occurs in the product development stage. Conditional on a breakthrough, the market demand then determines whether the product will be profitable. Therefore both factors determine the profitability of R&D and the decision maker of the firm learns about them through dynamic experimentation. In this context, the decision maker’s bias lies in over-estimation of how much control the R&D team has over the outcome. For example, when the market demand is low because the line of products the firm produces is dated, the decision maker attributes it to the R&D team’s failure to make the product appealing. In the event of this bias, a decision maker values R&D less compared to the case with no bias. Moreover, she is more likely to continue R&D even under the feedback that the market demand is low for her line of products. This is because she treats it as good news about something she has control over - her team - more than she treats it as bad news about something she does not have control over - the market.
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Three essays in empirical economics

Three essays in empirical economics

presence of which has been established to be a suitable proxy for economic activity by a number of influential studies (e.g. Pinkovskiy & Sala-i-Martin (2014), Michalopoulos & Papaioannou (2013) and Storeygard (2016)). Due to the lack of sub-national accounts data for the region in question, I rely on nocturnal lights emissions in order to approximate local economic activity and its spatial distribution. This data allows me to build my analysis on geo-localised observational units with a size of approximately 11x11km. In doing so, I am able to propose a novel cross-section, mirroring economic activity in a part of Russia for which - to my knowledge - there has not been any reliable data, nor any empirical analyses so far. Locations which are characterised by low transport costs often exhibit favourable natural endowments, as well as are benefitting from the existence of returns to scale. Therefore it is detrimental for the quantification of the causal effect of transport cost advantages that one is able to empirically disentangle said effects. The historical context of the planning and construction of the Transsiberian Railway allows for the implementation of an instrumental variable strategy. This enablers me to solve the underlying endogeneity problem and furthermore, demonstrate the causal positive long- run effect of the railway on economic development in its vicinity. Further, I am able to show that lower distances to the Railway have a causal and positive effect on the spatial agglomeration of economic activity.
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Three Essays on Health Economics

Three Essays on Health Economics

Deng’s time was Song Jian, who was a scientist trained in Moscow before he assumed office. Hu’s administration deepened the role of science by strategically planning and optimizing government’s structure to further smooth the implementation of the OCP. Democratic perspective can be seen by deviating away from punishment approach by including more economic incentives for compliance. Additionally, Hu Jintao fully promoted “human-centered, comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable” development during the March 2004 National People’s Congress. Unlike during previous eras when the public had to gain permits, citizens now could decide the timing of their childbearing as long as they were within the legal limits on the number of children they could have.
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Three essays in Health and Labour Economics

Three essays in Health and Labour Economics

Next, I take into account mother’s and child’s health. First, I restrict the sample to children with mothers who are in very good or excellent health. It may be the case that mothers with serious health issues stay out of the labour force even when their youngest child is enrolled into childcare. In this case the effect of maternal employment is different for mothers with different health status and they differently respond to the instrument. Row (3) shows that restricting the sample in this way does not change the qualitative results, but the estimated effects are larger. Second, I restrict the sample to children without any chronic diseases. One might be concerned that if a child has any chronic disease their mother can either stop working or reduce working hours even if the youngest child has attends childcare. Also, the presence of chronic diseases itself can affect the child’s weight. Excluding children with chronic disease should give us an idea whether the main findings might be driven by child health problems. Based on the data I consider chronic diseases related to heart, lung, liver, kidney, stomach and spinal diseases. Row (4) shows that the results are again very similar to the main results except that the probability to become overweight becomes not statistically significant. To a certain extent, these findings show that the main results are not driven by reverse causality.
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Three Essays on Health Economics

Three Essays on Health Economics

In this part, using a great deal of information about pregnancy and delivery methods in New Jersey Vital Statistics records, I try to figure out which mother is highly likely to manipulate her baby’s birth time. Then I directly test the relationship between birth timing manipulation and parents’ characteristics and estimate the health effects of birth timing manipulation on newborns. First of all, I choose the group of all low-risk term birth, because only parents who believe their babies are healthy in the uterus and will be healthy when delivered may consider manipulating their baby’s birth timing to slightly early days by reason of holidays at the end of the year. In other words, to exclude the effects of concerns about medical problems on decision making of delivery methods, I only keep term birth whose mothers have fewer health problems during pregnancy. To get this group, from entry sample I drop all births whose mothers have any medical risk factors, such as diabetes, renal disease, cardiac disease, genital herpes, incompetent cervix, for this pregnancy. I drop some birth with some complications of labor and/or delivery, such as prolonged labor (>20 hrs.), seizures during labor, breech, cephalopelvic disproportion, anesthetic complications fetal distress and etc. Then I keep birth whose mother may have the incentive to manipulate the birth timing. Incentive means if any day of holiday break is in expectant mother’s expected term delivery period (37 weeks to 41 weeks), this expectant mother may love to avoid holiday babies.
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Three Essays in Health Economics

Three Essays in Health Economics

For this study, I follow the previous studies and use the overall star rating for nursing homes. However, even though the overall star rating is largely determined by the health inspection domain, nursing homes with extreme staffing and/or quality ratings could receive overall star ratings that are different from their health inspection ratings. If the overall rating of a nursing home equals its health inspection rating, the thresholds in the health inspection domain determine the number of stars for both the health inspection and overall domains. From the perspective of the RD identification, a sample of nursing homes with health inspection ratings that equal the overall ratings accommodates the design well. On the other hand, the issue of generalizability arises when using this group of nursing homes. To address this concern, I compare the characteristics of all nursing homes and the nursing homes with overall ratings that equal their health inspection ratings. Table A1 shows the summary statistics for these two groups. As shown, the preferred sample accounts for slightly more than 50% of the full sample. However, all characteristics are extremely similar between the two groups of nursing homes, which alleviates the concern about the generalizability of the results using the preferred sample.
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Three Essays on Financial Economics

Three Essays on Financial Economics

This table presents summary statistics for annual health expenditure for different cohorts of the Health and Retirement Survey from 1992 to 2010. AHEAD were born 1923 or earlier; CODA (Children of Depression) were born from 1924 from 1930; HRS were born 1931-1941; WBs (War Babies) were born from 1942 to 1947; EBBs (Early Boomers) were born from 1948 to 1953; MBB (Mid Boomers) were born from 1954 to 1959. All dollar amounts are in 2010 dollars using CPI data from the Federal Reserve of Minneapolis.

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Three Essays in Health Economics

Three Essays in Health Economics

Past generations lived in a patriarchal society, and the majority of mothers would stay home—their primary job being to care for the home and children. These mothers had a great deal of time they could devote to cooking homemade, nutritious meals. Further, they had more time to spend interacting with, playing with, and raising their children. As such, these children were likely to be physically active, to have learned healthy habits, and to have their activities and time use monitored. In today’s society the majority of households have either two parents who both work, or are one-parent families where the adult must work to support the family. This has reduced the amount of parent-child interactions, as well as the quality of the interactions that do take place. Empirically, the reduction in quantity and quality of parental interactions has been shown to increase the probability that a child becomes obese (Davis and You 2007).
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