nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2014‒05‒09
seventeen papers chosen by
Yong Yin
SUNY at Buffalo

  1. The Length of Maternity Leave and Family Health By Louise Voldby Beuchert; Maria Knoth Humlum; Rune Vejlin
  2. Health, Height and the Household at the Turn of the 20th Century By Roy E. Bailey; Timothy J. Hatton; Kris Inwood
  3. Health Insurance and the Demand for Medical Care: Instrumental Variable Estimates Using Health Insurer Claims Data By Abe Dunn
  4. Defining Disease Episodes and the Effects on the Components of Expenditure Growth By Abe Dunn; Eli Liebman; Lindsey Rittmueller; Adam Shapiro
  5. Moving Markets: Lessons from New Hampshire's Health Care Price Transparency Experiment. By Ha Tu; Rebecca Gourevitch
  6. Small Businesses and Health Reform: Results from a Survey of Five States. By Catherine McLaughlin; Adam Swinburn
  7. What Kinds of Health Insurance Do Small Businesses Offer? Results from a Survey of Five States. By Catherine McLaughlin; Adam Swinburn
  8. Explaining Differentials in Employment and Wages Between Young Adults with and Without Disabilities. By David R. Mann; David C. Wittenburg
  9. Strategies for Using Vital Records to Measure Quality of Care in Medicaid and CHIP Programs. By Keith Kranker; So O’Neil; Vanessa Oddo; Miriam Drapkin; Margo Rosenbach
  10. Learning for Life: A Cross-National Analysis Comparing Education with Other Determinants of Infant Mortality. By Luigi Maria Solivetti; Alessandra Mirone
  11. Health, social policy, and inclusive growth in MENA By Randa Alami
  12. The relative contribution of genetic and environmental factors to cancer risk and cancer mortality in Norway By Edwin Leuven; Erik Plug; Marte Rønning
  13. Education and cancer risk By Edwin Leuven; Erik Plug; Marte Rønning
  14. Maternal working hours and the well-being of adolescent children By Silvia Mendolia
  15. Breaking the Link Between Legal Access to Alcohol and Motor Vehicle Accidents: Evidence from New South Wales By Jason Lindo; Peter Siminski; Oleg Yerokhin
  16. Spatial Inequality in Education and Health Care in China By XiaoBo Zhang; Ravi KANBUR
  17. Maternal full-time employment and overweight children: Parametric, semi-parametric, and non-parametric assessment By Echu Liu; Cheng Hsiao; Tomoya Matsumoto; Shinyi Ch

  1. By: Louise Voldby Beuchert (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark); Maria Knoth Humlum (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark); Rune Vejlin (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark)
    Abstract: We study the relationship between the length of maternity leave and the physical and psychological health of the family. Using a reform of the parental leave scheme in Denmark that increased the number of weeks of leave with full benefit compensation,we estimate the effect of the length of maternity leave on a range of health indicators including the number of hospital admissions for both mother and child and the probability of the mother receiving antidepressants. The reform led to an increase in average post-birth maternity leave of 32 days. We find limited evidence that the increase in the length of maternity leave matters for child or maternal health outcomes and thus we complement the existing evidence on maternity leave expansions that tends to find limited effcts on children's later developmental, educational, and labor market outcomes. Our results suggest that any benecial effects of increasing the length of maternity leave are greater for low-resource families.
    Keywords: Maternity leave, Family health, Regression- Discontinuity
    JEL: I18 J13 J18
    Date: 2014–05–01
  2. By: Roy E. Bailey; Timothy J. Hatton; Kris Inwood
    Abstract: We examine the health and height of men born in England and Wales in the 1890s who enlisted in the army at the time of the First World War. We take a sample of the army service records and use this information to find the recruits as children in the 1901 census. Econometric results indicate that adult height was negatively related to the number of children in the household as well as to the share of earners, the degree of crowding, and positively to socioeconomic class. Adding the characteristics of the local registration district has little effect on the household-level effects. But local conditions were important; in particular the industrial character of the district, local housing conditions and the female illiteracy rate. We interpret these as representing the negative effect on height of the local disease environment. The results suggest that changing conditions at both household and locality levels contributed to the increase in height and health in the following decades.
    Date: 2014–05
  3. By: Abe Dunn (Bureau of Economic Analysis)
    Date: 2014–03
  4. By: Abe Dunn; Eli Liebman; Lindsey Rittmueller; Adam Shapiro (Bureau of Economic Analysis)
    Date: 2014–04
  5. By: Ha Tu; Rebecca Gourevitch
    Abstract: This report examines efforts by New Hampshire state government over the past decade to use health care price transparency—notably through the creation of HealthCost, a public website comparing costs of median health care bundled prices—to encourage cost-conscious behavior by consumers and increase competition and efficiency among health care providers. The study found that although state transparency initiatives did not directly alter consumers' behavior, they have helped change health care market dynamics in important ways. By highlighting wide provider price gaps within the state, New Hampshire's transparency initiatives increased pressure on high-price hospitals to lower their rate demands and accelerated a statewide trend toward new insurance products that reward consumers for choosing efficient providers.
    Keywords: Health Care, Price Transparency Experiment, New Hampshire
    JEL: I
    Date: 2014–04–30
  6. By: Catherine McLaughlin; Adam Swinburn
    Abstract: This brief found that many proprietors of small businesses were unaware of ACA provisions designed to help small businesses offer health insurance to their employees, often by directly or indirectly reducing the costs of providing coverage. The findings highlight the importance of raising awareness of the potential benefits of health reform.
    Keywords: Small Businesses, Health Reform, Survey, Alabama, Colorado, Minnesota, New York, Oregon
    JEL: I
    Date: 2014–04–30
  7. By: Catherine McLaughlin; Adam Swinburn
    Abstract: This brief found that small businesses that continue to offer coverage will face changes in what plans are available to offer. As individual and Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) exchanges are developed, employees of small businesses will likely receive more choices and more comprehensive coverage, possibly at more competitive prices.
    Keywords: Health Insurance, Small Businesses, Survey, Alabama, Colorado, Minnesota, New York, Oregon
    JEL: I
    Date: 2014–04–30
  8. By: David R. Mann; David C. Wittenburg
    Keywords: Employment, Wages, Young Adults, Disabilities, Labor, Working
    JEL: I J
    Date: 2014–04–30
  9. By: Keith Kranker; So O’Neil; Vanessa Oddo; Miriam Drapkin; Margo Rosenbach
    Keywords: Medicaid, CHIP, Child Health, Quality Measures
    JEL: I
    Date: 2014–01–30
  10. By: Luigi Maria Solivetti (Dipartimento di Scienze Sociali ed Economiche, Sapienza University of Rome); Alessandra Mirone (Dipartimento di Scienze Sociali ed Economiche, Sapienza University of Rome)
    Abstract: Notwithstanding extensive improvements over the last decades, infant mortality (IM) still shows huge – and increasing – disparities across the world. This paper compares various paradigms (education, growth, dependency, demographic factors) used to explain this blatant inequality. The paradigm focusing on education emerges as particularly corroborated. A wide series of education indicators are considered and contrasted, vis-à-vis several measures of mortality. The main education indicators seem to have a significant impact on IM, though some of them – in particular, variables taking account of gender – are particularly momentous. The education-IM relation does not change, whatever the indicator used to measure mortality. What is more, the education-IM relation works at both low and high levels of infant mortality, and is limitedly affected by the geographical and cultural-religious context. All in all, with regards to infant/child mortality reduction, education emerges more as a ‘stand-alone’ paradigm than just as an auxiliary variable.
    Keywords: Education; Development; Infant Mortality.
    JEL: I25
    Date: 2014–04
  11. By: Randa Alami (Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK)
    Abstract: This paper takes stock of the current status of health sectors in MENA. From the narrow perspective of national aggregate indicators, as with most middle income countries, the region has seen significant achievements. Yet, health sectors face systemic challenges, and suffer from significant and persistent inequities in health outcomes, access, delivery, and distribution of health services. Out of pocket spending levels are amongst the highest in the world, and are driven by: privatisation, poor social protection and insurance coverage, and the inability to respond to the epidemiological transition. Consequently, the financial burden of healthcare forces significant swathes of the population into poverty, or to forgo healthcare altogether. Sectoral policies have been piecemeal and short-termist, with a clear neglect of public health sectors. These deficiencies are more evident if MENA is benchmarked against many of their peers, or against the international consensus of Universal Health Care (UHC).
    Keywords: health, health inequity, universal health care, Middle East, inclusive growth
    JEL: I14 I15 I18 H51 N35
    Date: 2014–05
  12. By: Edwin Leuven; Erik Plug; Marte Rønning (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: Using Norwegian cancer registry data we study twin and non-twin siblings to decompose variation in cancer at most common sites and cancer mortality into a genetic, shared environment and individual (unshared environmental) component. Regardless the source of sibling variation, our findings indicate that genes dominate over shared environment in explaining relatively more of the variation in cancer at most common cancer sites (but lung and skin cancer) and cancer mortality. The vast majority of the variation in cancer and cancer mortality, however, is explained by individual (unshared environmental) factors.
    Keywords: Cancer; Twins; Heritability; Environment
    JEL: I12 J62
    Date: 2014–04
  13. By: Edwin Leuven; Erik Plug; Marte Rønning (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: There exists a strong educational gradient in cancer risk, which has been documented in a wide range of populations. Yet relatively little is known about the extent to which education is causally linked to cancer incidence and mortality. This paper exploits a large social experiment where an education reform expanded compulsory schooling during the 1960s in Norway. The reform led to a discontinuous increase in educational attainment, which we exploit to estimate the effect of the reform on various cancer outcomes. Our main finding is that education has little if any impact on cancer risk. This holds for all cancer sites together as well as the most common cancer sites in isolation, with two exceptions. The compulsory school reform lowered the risk of lung cancer for men, but increased the risk of colorectal cancer for women.
    Keywords: Education; Causality; Health; Cancer
    JEL: I12 I21
    Date: 2014–04
  14. By: Silvia Mendolia (University of Wollongong)
    Abstract: This study investigates how maternal working hours are related to various outcomes in children aged 11–15 using a sample of mothers and adolescents in the British Household Panel Survey. Research that examines the effects of maternal employment on children has been motivated by the rapid increase of female participation rates in the labour market and increased shares of children living in female-headed or single-mother households. The existing literature on this issue is very limited, mostly based on American data, and provides conflicting results. Fixed effects have been used in the present analysis to control for characteristics of children and families that do not vary over time. The results suggest that full-time maternal employment (as opposed to part-time) has little or no effect on the propensity of adolescents to smoke, their life satisfaction, self-esteem, or intention to leave school at 16. These results are stable and consistent across various specifications of the model and different socio-economic status.
    Keywords: maternal working hours; adolescent well-being; children smoking
    JEL: J13 J22 I12
    Date: 2014
  15. By: Jason Lindo; Peter Siminski (University of Wollongong); Oleg Yerokhin (University of Wollongong)
    Abstract: A large literature has documented signicant public health benets associated with the minimum legal drinking age in the United States, particularly because of the resulting eects on motor vehicle accidents. These benets form the primary basis for continued eorts to restrict youth access to alcohol. It is important to keep in mind, though, that policymakers have a wide variety of alcohol-control options available to them, and understanding how these policies may complement or substitute for one another can improve policy making moving forward. Towards this end, we propose that investigating the causal eects of the minimum legal drinking age in New South Wales, Australia provides a particularly informative case study, because Australian states are among the world leaders in their eorts against drunk driving. Using an age-based regression-discontinuity design applied to restricted-use data from several sources, we nd no evidence that legal access to alcohol has eects on motor vehicle accidents of any type in New South Wales, despite having large eects on drinking and on hospitalizations due to alcohol abuse.
    Keywords: health, alcohol, minimum legal drinking age, drunk driving
    JEL: I18 K32
    Date: 2014
  16. By: XiaoBo Zhang; Ravi KANBUR
    Abstract: While increasing income inequality in China has been commented on and studied extensively, relatively little analysis is available on inequality in other dimensions of human development. Using data from different sources, this paper presents some basic facts on the evolution of spatial inequalities in education and healthcare in China over the long run. In the era of economic reforms, as the foundations of education and healthcare provision have changed, so has the distribution of illiteracy and infant mortality. Across provinces and within provinces, between rural and urban areas and within rural and urban areas, social inequalities have increased substantially since the reforms began. D 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. JEL classification: D63; O15; O18
    Keywords: Illiteracy; Infant mortality rate; Spatial inequality in China; Polarization
    Date: 2013–10–14
  17. By: Echu Liu; Cheng Hsiao; Tomoya Matsumoto; Shinyi Ch
    Abstract: We use the matched mother-child data from the 2000 wave of the US National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 79 (NLSY79) to assess the impact of full-time working mothers on children's body mass index (BMI) and the likelihood of becoming overweight. Parametric, semi-parametric and non-parametric methods are employed to correct the bias of selection on observables and unobservables. Pros and cons of various methods are discussed and specification tests are conducted. In general, we find that a mother's full-time employment does have some impact on her children's BMI and likelihood of becoming overweight across models and inference procedures.
    Keywords: Maternal employment; Overweight children
    JEL: I12 J22
    Date: 2013–10–14

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