nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2023‒01‒16
twelve papers chosen by
Nicolas R. Ziebarth
Cornell University

  1. Compensation to Israeli Holocaust Survivors and the Human Capital of Their Children By Shay Tsur
  2. Daily Use of Social Media Is Associated with More Body Dissatisfaction of Teenage Girls in a Large Cross-Cultural Survey By Napp, Clotilde; Breda, Thomas
  3. Workplace Presenteeism, Job Substitutability and Gender Inequality By Ghazala Azmat; Lena Hensvik; Olof Rosenqvist
  4. Social Security Coverage and Informal Workers in Tunisia By Najat El Mekkaoui; Yeganeh Forouheshfar; Asma Benhassen; Nidhal Ben Cheikh; Jacob Emont
  5. Aid and Child Health: Local Effects of Aid on Stunting in Malawi By Durevall, Dick; Isaksson, Ann-Sofie
  6. Does Maternal Education Curb Female Genital Mutilation? Evidence from a Natural experiment in Egypt By Ahmed Shoukry Rashad; Mesbah Fathy Sharaf
  7. Socioeconomic Factors Associated with Being Overweight or Obese in Suriname By Khadan, Jeetendra; Spencer, Nekeisha; Strobl, Eric; Bose-Duker, Theophiline
  8. Feeling Blue Over the Economy, Will You Pull Down Your Face Mask? Economic and Psychological Well-Being and Preventive Health Behavior By Amira El-Shal; Eman Moustafa
  9. Diminishing Returns: Nudging Covid-19 Prevention Among Colombian Young Adults By Blackman, Allen; Hoffmann, Bridget
  10. Navigating Through A Pandemic Amid Inflation and Instability: An Assessment of the Socio-Economic Impact of Covid-19 on Migrants in Eastern Sudan By Joris Jourdain; Elizabeth Griesmer; Raffaele Bertini; Lorenza Rossi
  11. Urban density and COVID-19: understanding the US experience By Carozzi, Felipe; Provenzano, Sandro; Roth, Sefi
  12. COVID-19...Who Will Wash the Dishes and Change the Diapers? Evidence from A Post COVID-19 Time Use Survey on Egypt By Rana Hendy; Shaimaa Yassin

  1. By: Shay Tsur (Bank of Israel)
    Abstract: Some Holocaust survivors in Israel began receiving compensation in the 1950s, while others became eligible only from the 1990s. I find that children born to parents who receive the compensation from the 1950s have more years of schooling compared to children that were already adults in the 1990s when their parents began receiving compensation. The findings are more prominent among girls, with an average effect of 0.07-0.42 year of schooling, depending on household compensation, which equals 10-60 percent of the average salary.
    Keywords: Household, Human Capital, Children, Holocaust
    Date: 2022–01
  2. By: Napp, Clotilde (CNRS); Breda, Thomas (Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: Most teenagers spend several hours per day on social media. We provide a large-scale investigation of the relationship between social media daily usage and body dissatisfaction among a sample of more than 50,000 15 y.o. students. This relation is positive and large for girls—higher use of social networks is associated with higher dissatisfaction about their body—and negative for boys. The positive relation for girls is observed in all eight countries included in the study, covering very different cultural contexts (e.g., Georgia, Ireland, Spain, Mexico, Panama or Hong Kong). It is observed for all girls, no matter their body mass index (BMI), their academic performance, and their socioeconomic background. Instrumenting social networks consumption by students' or students' peers' internet access at home while controlling finely for other students' or students' peers' household characteristics suggests that the relationship between social media consumption and girls' body dissatisfaction could be causal.
    Keywords: social media, body dissatisfaction
    JEL: I12 L82
    Date: 2022–12
  3. By: Ghazala Azmat (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CEP - LSE - Centre for Economic Performance - LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science); Lena Hensvik (Uppsala Universitet [Uppsala]); Olof Rosenqvist (IFAU)
    Abstract: This paper explores how the parenthood wage penalty is partially explained by an increased within-couple gap in job uniqueness (i.e., the within-establishment substitutability of workers). Uniqueness is rewarded with higher wages, but it requires worker presenteeism (i.e., the lack of unpredictable work absences), which entails a higher cost of childbearing. Using a within-couple event study approach, we show that after the arrival of the first child, women take more days of absence than men and their likelihood of holding jobs with low substitutability decreases. We find that 15 years after childbearing, the male-female gender gap in holding a (higher-paying) unique jobs increases by 6 percentage points. The results suggest that structural changes towards greater work flexibility, making it less costly for workers in unique jobs not to be present, can help to reduce the parenthood wage penalty.
    Keywords: Work absence,Job substitutability,Gender wage inequality
    Date: 2022–09
  4. By: Najat El Mekkaoui (University Paris Dauphine, LEDa DIAL, France); Yeganeh Forouheshfar; Asma Benhassen; Nidhal Ben Cheikh; Jacob Emont
    Abstract: Informality is prevalent in Tunisia, limiting the access of a large share of the population to social safety nets. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated more than ever the importance of an inclusive and stable social protection system. Meanwhile, informal workers have been disproportionately affected by the health crisis, hence, extending social security coverage to workers in the informal sector is vital. This paper provides a brief overview of the existing social protection schemes and programs in Tunisia and aims to analyze challenges and opportunities for the extension of social protection to informal workers in the labor market, through studying the main characteristics of Tunisia’s informal workforce and also the characteristics of those informal workers who have transitioned to formality. Finally, we provide policy recommendations tailored to Tunisia’s current situation.
    Date: 2022–09–20
  5. By: Durevall, Dick (Department of Economics); Isaksson, Ann-Sofie (Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg)
    Abstract: Motivated by a recent setback in the fight against child malnutrition, this study explores whether aid projects help to reduce stunting, or impaired growth, among children in the local area. Focusing on Malawi, a country with very high stunting prevalence and for which we have access to geo-referenced data on aid projects from a broad range of donors, we geographically match spatial data on 778 aid project sites of 22 different donors with anthropometric and background data on 26, 604 children under the age of 5. To identify the effect of aid, we rely on spatial and temporal variation in aid project coverage and survey rollout, coupled with variation in childbirth years in relation to project start. The empirical results consistently indicate a positive impact of early life aid exposure on child growth. The positive treatment effect materializes already for children born in the early project implementation phase and lasts for children born up to 3 years after project start and is seemingly driven primarily by multilateral aid and projects focusing on rural development, vulnerability, infrastructure, and education.
    Keywords: Aid; Stunting; Malnutrition; Child health; Malawi; Africa
    JEL: F35 I15 O12 O15
    Date: 2022–12–16
  6. By: Ahmed Shoukry Rashad (Dubai Department of Economic Development, Government of Dubai); Mesbah Fathy Sharaf (University of Alberta)
    Abstract: In this study, we exploit a natural experiment, an education policy change reducing compulsory schooling from nine to eight years in Egypt, to estimate the causal impact of maternal education on mothers’ attitude toward female genital mutilation (FGM), the probability that their daughters undergo FGM, and their intention to perform FGM to her daughters in the future. We use a nationally representative sample of 16, 572 ever-married women aged between 15-49 from the 2008 Egypt’s Demographic and Health Survey and utilize a fuzzy regression discontinuity (FRD) framework to estimate the causal impact of maternal education on the three FGM outcomes. Our main findings suggest that maternal education did not discourage the actual implementation of the FGM practice in Egypt. It did not reduce either the probability of having a circumcised daughter or the motivation to perform FGM in the future. However, our results suggest maternal education had a favorable impact on the sentiment toward the FGM practice. The unexpected results maybe explained by the poor quality of schooling in Egypt on human capital protection and the power of traditionalism versus education
    Date: 2021–10–20
  7. By: Khadan, Jeetendra; Spencer, Nekeisha; Strobl, Eric; Bose-Duker, Theophiline
    Abstract: This paper applies probit regression models to a nationally representative household survey dataset collected in 2016-2017 to analyze the relationships between various socio-demographic variables and adult Body Mass Index (BMI) in Suriname. Our results indicate that women, the elderly, and couples either married and/or living together are more likely to be obese or overweight. As expected, this is also true for individuals who have chronic illnesses. The analysis also finds that individuals who engage in a sport or in other forms of exercise, even if modest, have lower odds of being overweight or obese. Interestingly, the findings indicate that individuals who benefit from government social safety net programs are less likely to be associated with being overweight or obese. The results of this study have implications for the adjustment of current Surinamese nutritional guidelines as well as the design and implementation of targeted obesity-reduction policies that recognize that being overweight is influenced by various characteristics. Although the results are country-specific, they have the potential to influence action in all countries in the Caribbean that lack policies to address obesity.
    Keywords: Suriname;policy;BMI;Overweight;Obesity
    JEL: I12 I15 I10
    Date: 2021–06
  8. By: Amira El-Shal (Cairo University); Eman Moustafa (African Export-Import Bank)
    Abstract: This study investigates what predicts the uptake of preventive health behaviour (PHB) during COVID-19, bringing to the fore economic and psychological determinants. We provide novel evidence that through affecting psychological well-being, economic well-being can affect PHB. Exploiting a panel survey dataset of four North African countries for November 2020–August 2021, we construct a psychological well-being index and develop a structural equation model that addresses endogeneity in the PHB, economic and psychological well-being, and COVID-19 risk perception relationships. Our estimates reveal vast heterogeneity in individual responses to different PHB determinants across countries and by behaviour type. Psychological well-being had the strongest positive effect on the likelihood of physical distancing in Egypt and Sudan and of wearing masks in Morocco, Sudan, and Tunisia. Psychological well-being in turn was negatively affected by decreased food consumption and higher economic anxiety in all four countries. Psychological well-being was also lower for unpaid family workers in Egypt and Sudan and the unemployed in Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia. Handwashing, a less publicly visible practice, was directly related to the perceived risk of COVID-19 and neighbourhood compliance. Gender, age, and education effects varied across countries and by PHB type.
    Date: 2022–08–20
  9. By: Blackman, Allen; Hoffmann, Bridget
    Abstract: Until a vaccine is widely available, face masks and other nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) will continue to be the frontline defense against Covid-19 in developing countries. But their effectiveness depends critically on compliance by young adults, who are most likely both to become infected and to infect others. We conducted a randomized controlled trial in Bogotá, Colombia, to assess the effectiveness of informational nudges on university students concern about Covid-19, recent compliance with NPI recommendations, and intended future compliance. Although nudges boosted concern, they had limited effects on either recent or intended future compliance. We attribute these null results to high baseline levels of information about and compliance with NPIs an informational diminishing returns scenario that is likely to be increasingly common globally. Nudges were more effective at boosting recent compliance among participants who were politically left-wing, were relatively poor, and lived with more people.
    Keywords: behavioral economics;framing;Coronavirus;HEALTH BEHAVIOR;nonpharmaceutical intervention;randomized controlled trial
    JEL: D83 O10 I18 I1 I15 D8
    Date: 2021–05
  10. By: Joris Jourdain (International Organization for Migration); Elizabeth Griesmer; Raffaele Bertini; Lorenza Rossi
    Abstract: The 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its associated containment measures have impacted numerous dimensions of the lives of migrants, including their health, education, livelihoods and economic security, social cohesion, and mobility. As part of the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) efforts to draw attention to the adverse consequences of the pandemic for migrants in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, this study focuses on international migrants (mainly from Ethiopia and Eritrea) living in the states of Kassala and Gedaref in Sudan. To differentiate between various forms of mobility between countries of origin and Sudan, this report disaggregates the impact of the pandemic across three categories of migrants: 1) long-term migrants in Sudan, 2) migrants in transit who seek to settle in a third country other than Sudan, and 3) seasonal migrant workers whose stay in Sudan is temporary and who migrate between Sudan and their country of origin regularly. The study primarily examines the socio-economic outcomes of migrants living in Kassala and Gedaref, regardless of their reason for coming to Sudan. The research team conducted qualitative interviews with 30 key informants and collected quantitative information from 937 respondents using a household survey. The questions posed to key informants and migrants considered the multidimensional consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic along six pillars, as adapted from the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Group’s (UNSDG) framework for evaluating the immediate socio-economic impact of the health emergency: 1) Health, 2) Protection and access to basic services, 3) Economic response and recovery, 4) Macroeconomic response and multilateral collaboration, 5) Social cohesion and community resilience, and 6) Mobility (2020). Key findings of the paper are summarized under these six pillars
    Date: 2022–06–20
  11. By: Carozzi, Felipe; Provenzano, Sandro; Roth, Sefi
    Abstract: This paper revisits the debate around the link between population density and the severity of COVID-19 spread in the United States. We do so by conducting an empirical analysis based on graphical evidence, regression analysis and instrumental variable strategies borrowed from the agglomeration literature. Studying the period between the start of the epidemic and the beginning of the vaccination campaign at the end of 2020, we find that the cross-sectional relationship between density and COVID-19 deaths changed as the year evolved. Initially, denser counties experienced more COVID-19 deaths. Yet, by December, the relationship between COVID deaths and urban density was completely flat. This is consistent with evidence indicating density affected the timing of the outbreak – with denser locations more likely to have an early outbreak – yet had no influence on time-adjusted COVID-19 cases and deaths. Using data from Google, Facebook, the US Census and other sources, we investigate potential mechanisms behind these findings.
    Keywords: COVID-19; density; congestion forces; health; Springer deal
    JEL: I12 R12
    Date: 2022–11–28
  12. By: Rana Hendy (The American University in Cairo); Shaimaa Yassin (McGill University)
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the discussion on the restructure of workers’ time use -female workers in particular- as a result of COVID-19 and the subsequent impact this restructure might have on labor supplies. The subject matter of the study is hence to study the effect of COVID-19 on market and within-household labor supplies- namely for women who used to work before the outbreak of COVID-19 in Egypt which took place mid-March of the year 2020. To document and discuss the shifts in time use towards more home-based activities and implications such shifts might have on women’s market employment-related decisions, we construct time-use profiles using the newly collected time-use survey from CETUS20. The main findings of the paper show that workers in general – females with children in particular- have restructured their time use as a response to the COVID-19 health crisis. Longer hours on domestic work (housework and child-care), particularly with the closure of daycare services and educational institutions, have been the highlight for the surveyed females with children. The never-married working population allocated more time for paid work (both remote and on-site) compared to their ever-married peers. Regardless the marital status, women generally work less hours in the labor market than men; this gender gap in time spent on paid work is larger within the ever-married population, of around 100 and 70 minutes for the ever-married and never-married groups respectively. The paper’s analyses show as well that both the presence and the age of children significantly increases the women’s time allocated to child-care.
    Date: 2022–08–20

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