nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2010‒05‒15
six papers chosen by
Yong Yin
SUNY at Buffalo, USA

  1. A Profile of Obesity in Ireland, 2002-2007 By David Madden
  2. Child Morbidity and Camp Decongestion in Post-war Uganda By Carlos Bozzoli; Tilman Brück
  3. Years of Schooling, Human Capital and the Body Mass Index of European Females By Giorgio Brunello; Daniele Fabbri; Margherita Fort
  4. Empirical Analysis of the Incidence of Employer's Contributions for Health Care and Long Term Care Insurances in Japan By Miyazato, Naomi; Ogura, Seiritsu
  6. Natural Hazards and Child Health By Claus C Pörtner

  1. By: David Madden (University College Dublin)
    Abstract: Using the nationally representative Slan dataset we take a number of approaches to profile the change in obesity in Ireland over the 2002-2007 period. There is no evidence of either first or second order stochastic dominance between the two years. There is evidence that obesity and overweight are relatively more concentrated amongst males, the old and those with lower educational achievement. While obesity rose slightly over the period this was due to a rise in the average level of body mass index rather than a change in the shape of the distribution. Finally a semi-parametric decomposition of the change in the distribution over time indicates that the change in obesity arose not because of changes in population characteristics but rather the in the impact of these characteristics on body mass index.
    Keywords: Obesity, Body Mass Index, Decomposition
    Date: 2010–03–31
  2. By: Carlos Bozzoli (DIW Berlin); Tilman Brück (DIW Berlin)
    Abstract: Conflict related displacement affects millions of families throughout the world. Very little is known about the determinants of health outcomes in the period immediately after a cease-fire is agreed, in which currently displaced people living in camps consider returning to their place of origin. In this paper, we study the effects of war and displacement on the health of children, using morbidity data collected as part of a large household survey from post-war northern Uganda in 2007. We combine this dataset with geo-coded conflict event data at the individual level to overcome the challenges of selection bias and endogeneity arising from households choosing their location in part based on their health status. This methodological concern is confirmed in our analysis. We then estimate the determinants of child morbidity (proxied by various health indicators) in an instrumental variables multivariate model, where conflict intensity at place of birth of the head of household is used as an instrument. We find that while children in IDP camps and in returnee locations exhibit the same mean morbidity rates, IDP camp residency almost doubles morbidity while poor access to safe drinking water in return locations counteracts the positive health effects of camp decongestion. Our results point to the importance of overcrowding and poor cooking technologies in IDP camps for worsening morbidity in children and the need to provide better sanitation and drinking water access in return locations to further improve the health status of conflict-affected children. Better data and analysis in early post-war periods can help to balance public health interventions, thereby strengthening the peace process.
    Keywords: Violent conflict, health, displacement, Uganda
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Giorgio Brunello; Daniele Fabbri; Margherita Fort
    Abstract: We find that the protective effect of years of schooling on the BMI of European females is non negligible, but smaller than the one recently found for the US. By using individual standardized cognitive tests instead of years of schooling as the measure of education we show that the current focus in the literature on years of schooling is not misplaced. We also investigate whether the response to changes in compulsory education is heterogeneous, and find that the protective effect of schooling is stronger among overweight than among obese females.
    Keywords: obesity, human capital, Europe
    JEL: I12 I21
    Date: 2010–01
  4. By: Miyazato, Naomi; Ogura, Seiritsu
    Date: 2010–04
  5. By: Johansson-Stenman, Olof (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: This paper discusses how a decision maker should deal with uncertainty, both in the sense of a well-known probability distribution of different outcomes and as a situation where also the probability distribution is unknown. A simple baseline model is used throughout the paper, where the decision maker can invest in order to decrease the health risk. Since the investment is risky, the question concerns how much to invest. We derive and compare the optimal investment level for a number of different decision rules: a best guess rule, a maximin rule, an expected value rule, an expected utility rule, and three different rules that beyond risk aversion also reflect ambiguity aversion. Finally, these decision rules are evaluated more broadly.<p>
    Keywords: Investment under uncertainty; risk aversion; ambiguity aversion
    JEL: D81 H51 I18
    Date: 2010–05–04
  6. By: Claus C Pörtner
    Abstract: This paper examines how the occurrence of various natural disasters affect health status of children using data from Guatemala. Despite a large literature on child health there is relatively little work on how shocks from natural hazards affect the health of children and with climate change it is likely that more and more households will experience changes and possible increases in the risk of natural disasters. Using three rounds of DHS data combined with a long time series on hazards the paper controls for both time and area specific effects, while pinpointing when and where particular shocks occurred. This is done for children from birth to 59 months at the time of the survey. Child health is proxied by height for age and weight for height and direct information on recent symptoms of illness. The effect of shocks from these hazards are generally negative and often very large.
    Date: 2010–05

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