nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2015‒12‒12
ten papers chosen by
Yong Yin
SUNY at Buffalo

  1. Can Early Intervention Improve Maternal Well-being? Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial By Orla Doyle; Liam Delaney; Christine O'Farrelly; Nick Fitzpatrick; Michael Daly
  2. Delivering Parenting Interventions through Health Services in the Caribbean By Susan P. Walker; Christine Powell; Susan M. Chang; Helen Baker-Henningham; Sally Grantham-McGregor; Marcos Vera-Hernández; Florencia López Bóo
  3. Early intervention and child physical health: Evidence from a Dublin-based randomized controlled trial By Orla Doyle; Nick Fitzpatrick; Judy Lovett; Caroline Rawdon
  4. Intelligence, Human Capital and HIV/AIDS: Fresh Exploration By Kodila-Tedika, Oasis; Asongu, Simplice
  5. Oil price shocks, road transport pollution emissions and residents' health losses in China By Sheng Yang; Ling-Yun He
  6. PARENTAL INVESTMENTS IN CHILD HEALTH – the importance of paternalistic altruism, child egoism and short-sightedness By Bolin , Kristian; Lindgren, Björn
  7. Self-Reported Health and Gender: the Role of Social Norms By Caroli, Eve; Weber-Baghdiguian, Lexane
  8. Spillover Effects of Local Human Capital Stock on Adult Obesity: Evidence from German Neighborhoods By Rui Dang
  9. The lasting health impact of leaving school in a bad economy: Britons in the 1970s recession By Garrouste, Clémentine; Godard, Mathilde
  10. Women?s Education, Infant and Child Mortality, and Fertility Decline in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Quantitative Assessment By SHAPIRO David; TENIKUE Michel

  1. By: Orla Doyle (University College Dublin); Liam Delaney (Behavioural Science Centre, Stirling Management School, Stirling University); Christine O'Farrelly (Centre for Mental Health, Imperial College London); Nick Fitzpatrick (UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy, University College Dublin); Michael Daly (Behavioural Science Centre, Stirling Management School, Stirling University)
    Abstract: This study estimates the effect of a targeted policy intervention on global and experienced measures of maternal well-being. Participants from a disadvantaged community are randomly assigned during pregnancy to an intensive home visiting parenting program or a control group. The intervention has no impact on global well-being as measured by life satisfaction and parenting stress or experienced negative affect using episodic reports derived from the Day Reconstruction Method (DRM). Treatment effects are observed on measures of experienced positive affect from the DRM and a measure of mood yesterday. This suggests that early intervention may produce some improvements in experienced well-being.
    Keywords: well-being, randomized controlled trial, early intervention
    JEL: C12 C93 I39 J13 I00
    Date: 2015–12
  2. By: Susan P. Walker; Christine Powell; Susan M. Chang; Helen Baker-Henningham; Sally Grantham-McGregor; Marcos Vera-Hernández; Florencia López Bóo
    Abstract: Integrating early childhood interventions with health and nutrition services has been recommended, however there is limited information on interventions that are effective and feasible for delivery through health services. In this trial we developed and evaluated a parenting program that could be integrated into primary health center visits.
    Keywords: Child development, Wages, Development Banks, Evaluation, Labor markets, child development, parenting interventions, home visits, primary care health service, cost-benefit, Caribbean.
    Date: 2015–11
  3. By: Orla Doyle (University College Dublin); Nick Fitzpatrick (UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy, University College Dublin); Judy Lovett (UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy, University College Dublin); Caroline Rawdon (UCD School of Psychology, University College Dublin)
    Abstract: This article investigates the impact of an early intervention program, which experimentally modifies the parenting and home environment of disadvantaged families, on child physical health in the first 3 years of life. We recruited and randomized 233 (115 intervention, 118 control) pregnant women from a socioeconomically disadvantaged community in Dublin, Ireland into an intervention or control group. The treatment includes regular home visits commencing antenatally and an additional parenting course commencing at 2 years. Maternal reports of child health are assessed at 6, 12, 18, 24, and 36 months. Treatment effects are estimated using permutation testing to account for small sample size, inverse probability weighting to account for differential attrition, and both the stepdown procedure and an indices approach to account for multiple hypothesis testing. Following adjustment for multiple testing and attrition, we observe a positive and statistically significant main treatment effect for wheezing/asthma. The intervention group are 15.5 percentage points (pp) less likely to require medical attention for wheezing/asthma compared to the control group. Subgroup analysis reveals more statistically significant adjusted treatment effects for boys than girls regarding fewer health problems (d = 0.63), accidents (23.9 pp), and chest infections (22.8 – 37.9 pp). Our results suggest that a community-based home visiting program may have favorable impacts on early health conditions.
    Keywords: randomized controlled trial, home visiting, child physical health, early intervention
    JEL: C12 C93 J13 I14
    Date: 2015–12
  4. By: Kodila-Tedika, Oasis; Asongu, Simplice
    Abstract: This study complements existing literature on the relationship between HIV/AIDS and human capital by introducing previously unexplored indicators as well as more robust empirical strategies. The overarching purpose is to assess whether previous findings on the relationship withstand empirical scrutiny when alternative indicators and methodologies are employed. Four main HIV/AIDS measurements are regressed on intelligence for a maximum of 195 cross-sectional averages over the past decade. The empirical evidence is based on OLS, IWLS and 2SLS. The following findings are established. First, human capital decreases HIV prevalence with the magnitude on ‘Women’s share of population ages 15+ living with HIV’ substantially higher. This implies improving average human capital levels across communities would be more beneficial to girls above the age of 15 living with HIV. The relatively similar negative magnitudes across other dependent variables implies that increasing human capital decreases deaths from HIV/AIDS by almost the same rate as it reduces infections to the disease. Moreover, the HIV infection rate in children between the ages of 0 and 14 does not significantly change with human capital improvements. More policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: Health; Human capital; Intelligence
    JEL: D60 I10 I20 J24 O15
    Date: 2015–06
  5. By: Sheng Yang; Ling-Yun He
    Abstract: China's rapid economic growth resulted in serious air pollution, which caused substantial losses to economic development and residents' health. In particular, the road transport sector has been blamed to be one of the major emitters. During the past decades, fluctuation in the international oil prices has imposed significant impacts on the China's road transport sector. Therefore, we propose an assumption that China's provincial economies are independent "economic entities". Based on this assumption, we investigate the China's road transport fuel (i.e., gasoline and diesel) demand system by using the panel data of all 31 Chinese provinces except Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. To connect the fuel demand system and the air pollution emissions, we propose the concept of pollution emissions elasticities to estimate the air pollution emissions from the road transport sector, and residents' health losses by a simplified approach consisting of air pollution concentrations and health loss assessment models under different scenarios based on real-world oil price fluctuations. Our framework, to the best of our knowledge, is the first attempt to address the transmission mechanism between the fuel demand system in road transport sector and residents' health losses in the transitional China.
    Date: 2015–12
  6. By: Bolin , Kristian (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Lindgren, Björn (Centre for Health Economics, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden 3 Department of Health Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden 4 National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), Cambridge MA, United States)
    Abstract: Parent and child interaction is an important determinant of child health. Typically, parents are more forward-looking than their children and, hence, care about investments in human capital to a larger extent. In this paper we consider the parent-child health-related interaction, when the parent is altruistic and forward-looking and the child is egoistic and short-sighted. The child receives a monetary transfer, from the parent, which is used to finance either health-unrelated consumption or unhealthy behaviour. We apply a simple differential-game approach, assuming linear-state preferences, and study equilibrium time-paths of (a) the parental transfer, (b) the unhealthy behaviour, and (c) the stock of child health capital. We distinguish between the case in which the child is perfectly myopic and the case in which he or she is forward looking.
    Keywords: Health capital; parent-child interaction; myopic behaviour; differential game
    JEL: I12
    Date: 2015–12
  7. By: Caroli, Eve; Weber-Baghdiguian, Lexane
    Abstract: We investigate the role of social norms in accounting for differences in self-reported health as reported by men and women. Using the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS, 2010), we first replicate the standard result that women report worse health than men, whatever the health outcome we consider – i.e. general self-assessed health, well-being but also more specific symptoms such as hearing problems, skin problems, backache, muscular pain in upper or lower limbs, headache and eyestrain, stomach ache, respiratory difficulties, depression and anxiety, fatigue and insomnia. We then proxy social norms by the gender structure of the workplace environment and study how the latter affects self-reported health for men and women separately. Our findings indicate that individuals in workplaces where women are a majority tend to report worse health than individuals employed in mixed-gender work environments, be they men or women. The opposite holds for individuals in workplaces where men are a majority: men tend to report fewer health problems than when employed in mixed-gender environments and the same goes for women – although the effects are not significant at conventional levels. These results are robust to controlling for a large array of working condition indicators, which allows us to rule out that the poorer health status reported by individuals working in female-dominated environments could be due to worse job quality. We interpret this evidence as suggesting that social norms associated with specific gender environments play an important role in explaining differences in health-reporting behaviours across sex, at least in the workplace.
    Keywords: health, gender, social norms, job quality
    Date: 2015–09
  8. By: Rui Dang
    Abstract: This paper is the first to estimate the causal effect of local human capital stock on individual adiposity and adds to the existing literature on estimating human capital externalities at the neighborhood level. We explore the possible causal pathways that college-educated neighbors exert on individual body weight, with the results revealing small yet significant human capital spillover effects. Among all adults, a percentage point increase in the neighborhood college graduates share results in a decrease of individual body mass index by 0.0026 log points, as well as a decrease of the individual likelihood of being overweight by 0.77 percentage points. Among high school graduates and college graduates, a percentage point increase in the neighborhood college graduates share results in a decrease of individual likelihood of being overweight by approximately 0.83 percentage points.
    Keywords: Obesity, local human capital externalities, control function, non-random sorting
    JEL: I00 R23
    Date: 2015
  9. By: Garrouste, Clémentine; Godard, Mathilde
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether leaving school in a bad economy deteriorates health in the long-run. It focuses on individuals in England and Wales who left full-time education in their last year of compulsory schooling immediately after the 1973 oil crisis. Unemployment rates sharply increased in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis, so that between 1974 and 1976, each school cohort faced worse economic conditions at labour-market entry than the previous one. Our identification strategy relies on the comparison of very similar pupils – born the same year and with a similar quantity of education (in months) – whose school-leaving behaviour in different economic conditions was exogeneouly implied by compulsory schooling laws. Unlike school-leavers who did postpone their entry on the labour market during the 1980s and 1990s recessions, we provide evidence that pupils’ decisions to leave school at compulsory age immediately after the 1973 oil crisis were not endogeneous to the contemporaneous economic conditions at labour market entry. We use a repeated cross section of individuals over 1983-2001 from the General Household Survey (GHS) and take a lifecourse perspective, from 7 to 26 years after school-leaving. Our results show that poor economic conditions at labour-market entry are particularly damaging to women’s health. Women who left school in a bad economy are more likely to report poorer health and to consult a general practitioner over the whole period under study (1983-2001). Additional evidence suggests that they are also more likely to suffer from a longstanding illness/disability over the whole period. As for men, the health impact of poor economic conditions at labour-market entry is more mixed, and not robust across all specifications. However, we never find that leaving school in a bad economy is beneficial to their health. Finally, our results show that leaving school in a bad economy does not have a lasting impact on labour-market outcomes from 7 to 26 years after school-leaving, neither for men, nor for women.
    Keywords: health, school-leaving, macroeconomic shocks
    Date: 2015–05
  10. By: SHAPIRO David; TENIKUE Michel
    Abstract: Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) was the last major world region to experience the fertility decline that all industrialized countries have gone through and that much of the developing world has experienced in large part. It has uniquely high fertility: at present, the United Nations estimates the total fertility rate at 5.1 for SSA, compared to 2.2 for both Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. The ongoing fertility transition in the region has been comparatively slow and subject to stalling. At the same time, women?s educational attainment and infant and child mortality have been shown in the demography literature to be important determinants of fertility and fertility decline. Since the 1980s, fertility in sub-Saharan Africa has been falling in many countries while women?s school enrollment and educational attainment have been increasing and infant and child mortality for the most part has been declining. Previous research using aggregated data has shown the importance of growth in women?s schooling and reduction in infant and child mortality as major factors contributing to fertility decline in the region. This research uses individual-level micro data and a well-known decomposition technique for analyzing differences or changes to quantify the importance of increased women?s education and declining infant and child mortality in contributing to the observed declines in fertility in numerous countries. More specifically, this paper examines the quantitative impact of these two factors in sub-Saharan Africa in contributing to the ongoing decline in fertility that has been taking place in the region. Data come from 31 countries, and are from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS). The methodology is to decompose observed changes in fertility to changes attributable to different factors, including the two key variables of interest ? women?s education and infant and child mortality ? and two control variables, urbanization and age.
    Keywords: Women's Education; Infant and Child Mortality; Fertility Decline; Sub-Saharan Africa; Decomposition Analysis
    Date: 2015–12

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