nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2012‒12‒10
ten papers chosen by
Yong Yin
SUNY at Buffalo

  1. Analyzing the Effects of Insuring Health Risks: On the Trade-off between Short Run Insurance Benefits vs. Long Run Incentive Costs By Harold L. Cole; Soojin Kim; Dirk Krueger
  2. Bugs, Drugs & Smoke By WHO
  3. Effectiveness of Tax and Price Policies for Tobacco Control By WHO
  4. GINI DP 64: Cross-Temporal and Cross-National Poverty and Mortality Rates among Developed Countries By Johan Fritzell; Olli Kangas; Jennie Bacchus-hertzman; Blomgren, J. (Jenni); Heikki Hiilamo
  5. Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HSBC) Study: International Report from the 2009/2010 Survey Health Policy for Children and Adolescents, No. 6 By WHO
  6. Non-Technical Skills (NTS) for Enhancing Patient Safety: Achievements and Future Directions By Naonori Kodate; Alastair J. Ross; Janet E. Anderson; Rhona Flin
  7. One Man's Blessing, Another Woman's Curse? Family Factors and the Gender-Earnings Gap of Doctors By Schurer, Stefanie; Kuehnle, Daniel; Scott, Anthony; Cheng, Terence Chai
  8. Profile on Implementation of WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in the South-East Asia Region By WHO
  9. The Economics of Grief By van den Berg, Gerard J.; Lundborg, Petter; Vikström, Johan
  10. Which Medicaid Buy-In Participants Use SSA Work Supports? Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research By Denise Hoffman; Jody Schimmel

  1. By: Harold L. Cole (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania); Soojin Kim (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania); Dirk Krueger (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: This paper constructs a dynamic model of health insurance to evaluate the short- and long run effects of policies that prevent firms from conditioning wages on health conditions of their workers, and that prevent health insurance companies from charging individuals with adverse health conditions higher insurance premia. Our study is motivated by recent US legislation that has tightened regulations on wage discrimination against workers with poorer health status (Americans with Disability Act of 2009, ADA, and ADA Amendments Act of 2008, ADAAA) and that will prohibit health insurance companies from charging different premiums for workers of different health status starting in 2014 (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, PPACA). In the model, a trade-off arises between the static gains from better insurance against poor health induced by these policies and their adverse dynamic incentive effects on household efforts to lead a healthy life. Using household panel data from the PSID we estimate and calibrate the model and then use it to evaluate the static and dynamic consequences of no-wage discrimination and no-prior conditions laws for the evolution of the cross-sectional health and consumption distribution of a cohort of households, as well as ex-ante lifetime utility of a typical member of this cohort. In our quantitative analysis we find that although a combination of both policies is effective in providing full consumption insurance period by period, it is suboptimal to introduce both policies jointly since such policy innovation induces a more rapid deterioration of the cohort health distribution over time. This is due to the fact that combination of both laws severely undermines the incentives to lead healthier lives. The resulting negative effects on health outcomes in society more than offset the static gains from better consumption insurance so that expected discounted lifetime utility is lower under both policies, relative to only implementing wage nondiscrimination legislation.
    Keywords: Health, Insurance, Incentive
    JEL: E61 H31 I18
    Date: 2012–11–29
  2. By: WHO
    Abstract: Since the World Health Organization (WHO) was founded in 1948, the world has changed dramatically and so too has its health. But while some scourges (e.g. smallpox and polio) have subsided, others have made a comeback (e.g. tuberculosis) and frightening new diseases (e.g. Ebola and Marburg) have appeared.This book is primarily for young people, especially those interested in working in public health. It explains in simple, non-technical language how humankind developed techniques to protect the health of communities, drawing on first-hand interviews with leading public health figures. It covers a wide range of topics, from the control of infectious disease outbreaks to fighting the stigma attached to mental health conditions.These narratives, told from many parts of the world, show how individuals, communities, institutions and countries can improve people's health when they work together. They show the role that WHO has played in providing countries with the technical support and coordination to make progress in health possible.
    Keywords: Education, Other
    Date: 2012–02–29
  3. By: WHO
    Abstract: This new volume of the IARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention in Tobacco Control presents a critical review and evaluation of the evidence by 25 international experts from twelve countries on the economics, epidemiology, public policy and tobacco control aspects of tax and price policies. The working group draws conclusions about the effectiveness of tax and price measures to control tobacco use in the population. The Handbook covers an overview of tobacco taxation; industry pricing strategies and other industry initiatives diluting the effects of taxes on consumption; tax, price and aggregated demand for tobacco, as well as demand at the individual level in adults, young people and the economically disadvantaged; tax avoidance and tax evasion and the economic and health impacts of tobacco taxation. This body of evidence and the consensus evaluation of 18 concluding statements on the impact of interventions to increase the price of tobacco products, can assist policy makers, government officials, evaluators and researchers working in tobacco control and disease prevention, to base their decisions on the latest scientific evidence.
    Keywords: Public Health
    Date: 2012–01–31
  4. By: Johan Fritzell (Institute for Futures Studies, Stockholm University/ Karolinska Institutet); Olli Kangas (Research Department, The Social Insurance Institution (KELA)); Jennie Bacchus-hertzman (Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm University); Blomgren, J. (Jenni); Heikki Hiilamo (Research Department,, The Social Insurance Institution (KELA))
    Abstract: Introduction Fighting poverty has always been at the centre of welfare state activities. There are several important reasons for such a focus but a key issue is no doubt that poverty is associated with increasing risks for ill-health and also death. That at least extreme poverty and poor health go together seems instinctively obvious and historically one finds numerous classical examples of investigators highlighting the interrelation between scarce economic resources and poor health status. Friedrich Engels’ The condition of the Working Class in England (1845) and Seebohm Rowntree’s investigation in York Poverty: A study of town life (1901) are the two classical examples. In the latter, Rowntree did not only show the high mortality risks among the poorest areas of the working class but also that York at that time had what is nowadays called a ”social gradient” (Marmot 2005). For example, the infant mortality rate in the area with “highest class labour” was close to double to that in the “servant-keeping class”. Interestingly enough, it was also then higher than currently in the nation that according to UN has the highest infant mortality in the world today, Sierra Leone (UN 2011). .....
    Date: 2012–10
  5. By: WHO
    Abstract: Through this international report on the results of its most recent survey, the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study aims to supply the up-to-date information needed by policy-makers at various levels of government, nongovernmental organizations, and professionals in sectors such as health, education, social services, justice and recreation.The latest addition to a series of HBSC reports on young people's health, this report presents findings from the 2009/2010 survey on the demographic and social influences on the health of young people (aged 11, 13 and 15 years) in 43 countries and regions in the WHO European Region and North America. Responding to the survey, the young people described their social context (relations with family, peers and school), physical health and satisfaction with life, health behaviours (patterns of eating, tooth brushing and physical activity) and risk behaviours (use of tobacco, alcohol and cannabis, sexual behaviour, fighting and bullying). Statistical analyses were carried out to identify meaningful differences in the prevalence of health and social indicators by gender, age group and levels of family affluence.The aim was to provide a rigorous, systematic statistical base for describing cross-national patterns in terms of the magnitude and direction of differences between subgroups, thus contributing to a better understanding of the social determinants of health and well-being among young people, and providing the means to help protect and promote their health.
    Keywords: Public Health
    Date: 2012–05–31
  6. By: Naonori Kodate (School of Applied Social Sience, Univeristy College Dublin, Ireland; Policy Alternatives Research Institute (PARI), University of Tokyo, Japan); Alastair J. Ross (Simulation and Interactive Learning Centre (SaIL), St. Thomas’ Hospital, London, UK); Janet E. Anderson (Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, King’s College London (KCL), UK.); Rhona Flin (School of Psychology, University of Aberdeen, UK)
    Abstract: Problems in team communication and decision making have been implicated in accidents in high risk industries such as aviation, off shore oil processing, and nuclear power generation. Healthcare is no exception. Recognition of the role that breakdowns in communication and teamwork play in patient safety incidents and suboptimal care has led to a plethora of studies in the area of what has come to be widely known as non-technical skills (NTS). The aim of this paper is twofold. First, it provides an overview of the development and application of NTS in healthcare by showcasing recent studies. Second, it offers some thoughts about its future directions. We argue that the future of NTS in healthcare is likely to: a) pay more attention to skills such as inter-professional teamwork and communication with patients (e.g. care and compassion), providing scientific rigour and replicability can be brought to bear on this area; and b) incorporate an appropriate context from systems theories, in line with recent developments in cognitive science and resilience engineering.
    Keywords: NTC, patient safety, non-technical skill, inter-professional relations, medical education and training, systems theory, resilience engineering
    Date: 2012–11–30
  7. By: Schurer, Stefanie (Victoria University of Wellington); Kuehnle, Daniel (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg); Scott, Anthony (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research); Cheng, Terence Chai (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research)
    Abstract: Using data from a new longitudinal survey of doctors from Australia, the authors test whether observed large gender-pay gaps among general practitioners (GPs) are the result of women's larger willingness to interrupt their careers. On average, female GPs earn A$83,000 or 54% less than male GPs. The difference between men and women with children is A$105,000, and A$45,000 for men and women without children. Of this gap, 66-75% is explained by differences in observable characteristics such as hours worked. The family gap emerges also within the sexes. Female GPs with children experience an earnings penalty of A$15,000-A$25,000 in comparison to women without children; almost 100% of this difference is due to observable characteristics such as hours worked and career interruptions. Male GPs with children experience a family premium of A$35,000 in comparison to men without children, indicating the presence of a breadwinner effect that exacerbates the gender-earnings gap.
    Keywords: gender-earnings gap, family-earnings gap, labour force attachment, decomposition methods, family physicians, MABEL
    JEL: J24
    Date: 2012–11
  8. By: WHO
    Keywords: Public Health
    Date: 2012–04–30
  9. By: van den Berg, Gerard J. (University of Mannheim); Lundborg, Petter (Lund University); Vikström, Johan (IFAU)
    Abstract: We study the short-run and long-run economic impact of one of the largest losses that an individual can face; the death of a child. We utilize unique merged registers on the entire Swedish population, combining information on the date and cause of death with parents' labor market outcomes, health outcomes, marital status, and subsequent fertility. We exploit the longitudinal dimension of the data and deal with a range of selection issues. We distinguish between effects on labor and various non-labor income components and we consider patterns over time. We find that labor market effects are persistent.
    Keywords: sickness absenteeism, depression, child mortality, labor supply, bereavement, employment, marriage, death, divorce, mental health, fertility
    JEL: I12 I11 J14 J12 C41
    Date: 2012–11
  10. By: Denise Hoffman; Jody Schimmel
    Keywords: Working with Disability, SSA Work Supports, Medicaid Buy-In, Health
    JEL: I J I
    Date: 2012–11–30

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