nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2010‒09‒03
five papers chosen by
Yong Yin
SUNY at Buffalo, USA

  1. Economic Policies, Socieconomic Factors and Overall Health: A Short Review By Stavros A. Drakopoulos
  2. Diffusion of counterfeit medical products in a developing country: Empirical evidence for Suriname By Franses, Ph.H.B.F.; Lede, M.
  3. Maternal Depression and Childhood Health Inequalities By Kristin Turney
  4. College Quality and Young Adult Health Behaviors By Jason Fletcher; David Frisvold
  5. Bundling Among Rivals: A Case of Pharmaceutical Cocktails By Claudio Lucarelli; Sean Nicholson; Minjae Song

  1. By: Stavros A. Drakopoulos
    Abstract: Many researchers have found that socioeconomic factors play a crucial role in determining physiological and psychological health levels of the population. This implies that socioeconomic inequalities tend to produce health inequalities. It is also generally accepted that the level of unemployment, income inequality and poverty levels are largely affected by economic policies and the economic cycles. They can also influence economic growth, human capital levels and thus productivity which play an important role on health inequalities. Economic policies can also influence the occurrence, frequency, duration and the strength of economic cycles which in turn influence socioeconomic factors and therefore health inequalities. Thus, this short review will discuss the conduct and the effects of economic policy on health inequalities especially during recessionary periods. The paper starts with a discussion of the need and of the instruments of economic policy and also its effectiveness in smoothing the economic cycle. It also examines the interplay between main policy targets such as unemployment and inflation with political considerations. Finally, it concentrates on the effects of economic policies for health inequalities in view of economic recessions.
    Keywords: Economic Policy, Health, Socio-economic Factors.
    JEL: I1 H5
    Date: 2010–08–13
  2. By: Franses, Ph.H.B.F.; Lede, M.
    Abstract: Based on detailed shipping figures of Suriname’s main harbour in Paramaribo, we estimate the total shipments (in kilograms) of original and counterfeit medical products for 1996-2008 across five product categories. Using various time series techniques, we document that total cumulative shipments of counterfeit products eventually will make about 40% of total shipments. Correlation between the shipment series is on average 0.9, and there are no relevant leads or lags, implying that there are two distinct sets of consumers for original and for counterfeit products.
    Date: 2010–07–27
  3. By: Kristin Turney (University of Michigan)
    Abstract: An increasing body of literature documents considerable disparities in the health and wellbeing of young children in the United States, though maternal depression is one important, yet often overlooked, determinant of children's health. In this paper, I find that maternal depression, particularly depression that is recurrent or chronic, puts children at risk of having unfavorable health when they are five years old. This finding persists despite accounting for a host of demographic characteristics of the mothers and children, as well as adjusting for a lagged indicator of children's health. Results suggest that socioeconomic status, as well as maternal health and health behaviors, account for a large portion of the association between maternal depression and children's health. There is also some evidence that maternal depression is more consequential for children born to unmarried mothers than children born to married mothers.
    Keywords: depression, children, mothers, mental health, children's health, maternal depression
    JEL: D19 D60 I00 J12 J13
    Date: 2010–07
  4. By: Jason Fletcher; David Frisvold
    Abstract: Large literatures have shown important links between the quantity of completed education and health outcomes on one hand and the quality of schooling on a host of adult outcomes, such as wages, on the other hand. However, little research has been targeted to producing evidence of the link between school quality and health. The paper presents the first evidence in the literature on the potential short and intermediate term effects of attending a selective college on health behaviors during and following college attendance. Using a variety of empirical methods, this paper shows strong evidence that college quality reduces tobacco and marijuana use but has small and possibly positive effects on binge drinking. The effects on weight behaviors are suggestive of reduced weight, potentially through diet but not exercise change.
    Date: 2010–08
  5. By: Claudio Lucarelli; Sean Nicholson; Minjae Song
    Abstract: We empirically analyze the welfare effects of cross-firm bundling in the pharmaceutical industry. Physicians often treat patients with "cocktail" regimens that combine two or more drugs. Firms cannot price discriminate because each drug is produced by a different firm and a physician creates the bundle in her office from the component drugs. We show that a less competitive equilibrium arises with cocktail products because firms can internalize partially the externality their pricing decisions impose on competitors. The incremental profits from creating a bundle are sometimes as large as the incremental profits from a merger of the same two firms.
    JEL: I11 L1 L11
    Date: 2010–08

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