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Journal of Health Economics

Travis J Lybbert, Stephen A Vosti, Katherine P Adams, Rosemonde Guissou
Addressing early-life micronutrient deficiencies can improve short- and long-term outcomes. In most contexts, private supply chains will be key to effective and efficient preventative supplementation. With established vendors, we conducted a 60-week market trial for a food-based micronutrient supplement in rural Burkina Faso with randomized price and non-price treatments. Repeat purchases - critical for effective supplementation - are extremely price sensitive. Loyalty cards boost demand more than price discounts, particularly in non-poor households where the father is the cardholder...
October 11, 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Wameq A Raza, Ellen Van de Poel, Tom Van Ourti
Targeting the Ultra-poor (TUP) is an integrated programme that combines the transfer of income-generating assets and multifaceted training on entrepreneurship, health-nutrition, and social awareness over a two-year period to graduate ultra-poor with mainstream poverty. While positive socioeconomic effects and spill-over effects are well-documented, this is the first paper to evaluate the effects of the programme on nutritional outcomes of under-5 children using data from a randomized control trial over a four-year period...
October 10, 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Yi Zhang, Martin Salm, Arthur van Soest
We examine the effect of retirement on healthcare utilization in China using longitudinal data. We use a nonparametric fuzzy regression discontinuity design, exploiting the statutory retirement age in urban China as a source of exogenous variation in retirement. In contrast to previous results for developed countries, we find that in China retirement increases healthcare utilization. This increase can be attributed to deteriorating health and in particular to the reduced opportunity cost of time after retirement...
October 9, 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Claryn S J Kung, David W Johnston, Michael A Shields
Although mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression are common, there is little research on whether individuals in poor mental health react differently from others to financial incentives. This paper exploits an experiment from the UK Understanding Society Innovation Panel to assess how the participation response to randomly-assigned financial incentives differs by mental health status. We find that individuals in good mental health are more likely to respond when offered a higher financial incentive, whereas those in poor mental health are indifferent to the increased incentive...
September 29, 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Øystein Hernæs
I evaluate a program aimed at strictly enforcing a requirement that people on long-term sick leave be partly back at work unless explicitly defined as an exception. Employing the synthetic control method, I find that the reform reduced work-hours lost due to sickness absenteeism by 12% in the reform region compared to a comparison unit created by a weighted average of similar regions. The effect is driven by both increased part-time presence of temporary disabled workers and accelerated recovery. Musculoskeletal disorders was the diagnosis group declining the most...
September 27, 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Patrick Hullegie, Pierre Koning
This paper examines whether Dutch disability insurance reforms have helped or hindered employment opportunities of workers that are facing unanticipated shocks to their health. An important component of the reforms was to make employers responsible for paying sickness benefits and to strengthen their sickness monitoring obligations. This may stimulate preventive and reintegration activities by firms. Using administrative data on hospitalizations, we conclude that both financial incentives and monitoring obligations have substantially lowered DI receipt and increased the employment of workers after a health shock...
September 26, 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Jing Li
Understanding physicians' decisions when faced with conflicts between their own financial self-interest and patients' economic or health interests is of key importance in health economics and policy. This issue is especially salient in certain medical specialties where less altruistic behavior of physicians can yield significant financial gains. This study examines experimentally measured altruistic preferences of medical students from schools around the U.S., and whether these preferences predict those students' expected medical specialty choice...
September 22, 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Mariana Carrera, Heather Royer, Mark Stehr, Justin Sydnor, Dmitry Taubinsky
Recent large-scale randomized experiments find that helping people form implementation intentions by asking when and where they plan to act increases one-time actions, such as vaccinations, preventative screenings and voting. We investigate the effect of a simple scalable planning intervention on a repeated behavior using a randomized design involving 877 subjects at a private gym. Subjects were randomized into i) a treatment group who selected the days and times they intended to attend the gym over the next two weeks or ii) a control group who instead recorded their days of exercise in the prior two weeks...
September 20, 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Anne Sophie Oxholm, Søren Rud Kristensen, Matt Sutton
Incentive schemes often feature a threshold beyond which providers receive no additional payment for performance. We investigate whether providers' uncertainty about the relationship between effort and measured performance leads to financially unrewarded performance in such schemes. Using data from the British Quality and Outcomes Framework, we proxy general practitioners' uncertainty about the effort-performance relationship by their experience with the scheme and their span of control. We find evidence that providers respond to uncertainty by exerting financially unrewarded performance, suggesting that uncertainty may be a mechanism by which payers can extract unrewarded performance...
September 15, 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Holger Strulik
In this paper I unify the economic theories of addiction and health deficit accumulation and develop a life cycle theory in which individuals take into account the fact that the consumption of addictive goods reduces their health and longevity. I distinguish two types of addiction: sophisticated and naive. Individuals with sophisticated addiction perfectly control their addiction. Individuals with naive addiction, though otherwise rational and forward looking, fail to fully understand how their addiction develops...
September 15, 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Jenny Jans, Per Johansson, J Peter Nilsson
Normally, the temperature decreases with altitude, allowing air pollutants to rise and disperse. During inversion episodes, warmer air at higher altitude traps air pollutants at the ground. By merging vertical temperature profile data from NASA with pollution monitors and health care records, we show that inversions increase the PM10 levels by 25% and children's respiratory health problems by 5.5%. Low-income children are particularly affected, and differences in baseline health seem to be a key mediating factor behind the effect of pollution on the SES health gap...
September 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Chad Cotti, Erik Nesson, Nathan Tefft
We use the Nielsen Consumer Panel to investigate the impact of tobacco control policies on purchases of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), cigarettes, and smoking cessation products. We measure product quantity, product type, nicotine content, and liquid volume of e-cigarettes, and product quantity and nicotine content of cigarettes. Higher cigarette excise taxes decrease both cigarette and e-cigarette purchases, suggesting that cigarettes and e-cigarettes are complements, and higher cigarette excise taxes reduce the aggregate amount of nicotine purchased from cigarettes and e-cigarettes...
September 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Adam Leive
This paper compares mortality between Gold and Silver medalists in Olympic Track and Field to study how achievement influences health. Contrary to conventional wisdom, winners die over one year earlier than losers. I find strong evidence of differences in earnings and occupational choices as a mechanism. Losers pursued higher-paying occupations than winners according to individual Census records. I find no evidence consistent with selection or risk-taking. How people respond to success or failure in pivotal life events may produce long-lasting consequences for health...
September 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Tomi Kyyrä, Tuuli Paukkeri
We study whether the experience rating of employers' disability insurance premiums affects the inflow to disability benefits in Finland. To identify the causal effect of experience rating, we exploit kinks in the rule that specifies the degree of experience rating as a function of firm size. Using comprehensive matched employer-employee panel data, we estimate the effects of experience rating on the inflow to sickness and disability benefits. We find that experience rating has little or no effect on either of these outcomes...
September 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Simone Balestra
In light of the ongoing debate over tighter firearm regulations, this paper considers the relationship between gun prevalence and suicide. I exploit a reform in Switzerland that reduced the prevalence of military-issued guns in private households. In Switzerland, military service is compulsory for men, and military-issued guns account for nearly half of the total number of firearms available. The results show that the firearm suicide rate decreases by 9% for a reduction in gun prevalence of 1000 guns per 100,000 inhabitants...
September 2018: Journal of Health Economics
John Mullahy
While many results from the treatment-effect and related literatures are familiar and have been applied productively in health economics evaluations, other potentially useful results from those literatures have had little influence on health economics practice. With the intent of demonstrating the value and use of some of these results in health economics applications, this paper focuses on one particular class of parameters that describe probabilities that one outcome is larger or smaller than other outcomes ("inequality probabilities")...
September 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Elaine L Hill
This research exploits the introduction of shale gas wells in Pennsylvania in response to growing controversy around the drilling method of hydraulic fracturing. Using detailed location data on maternal addresses and GIS coordinates of gas wells, this study examines singleton births to mothers residing close to a shale gas well from 2003 to 2010 in Pennsylvania. The introduction of drilling increased low birth weight and decreased term birth weight on average among mothers living within 2.5 km of a well compared to mothers living within 2...
September 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Christopher M Whaley, Timothy T Brown
This paper examines how health care providers respond to a reference pricing insurance program that increases consumer cost sharing when consumers choose high-priced surgical providers. We use geographic variation in the population covered by the program to estimate supply-side responses. We find limited evidence of market segmentation and price reductions for providers with baseline prices above the reference price. Finally, approximately 75% of the reduction in provider prices is in the form of a positive externality that benefits a population not subject to the program...
September 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Daria Pelech
This paper explores the relationship between insurer competition and health plan benefit generosity by examining the impact of a regulatory change that caused the cancellation of 40% of the private plans in Medicare. I isolate cancellation's causal effect by using variation induced by insurers canceling all plans nationally. Results show that insurers in markets affected by cancellation reduced the benefit generosity of the plans remaining in the market. In the average market, out-of-pocket costs for a representative beneficiary enrolled in plans not directly affected by the policy increased by $91 annually...
September 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Jose-Luis Fernandez, Alistair McGuire, Maria Raikou
In spite of significant policy interest in improving the integration of health and social care services, little is known about the economics of coordination across the two sectors. We specify a Markov queuing model and use data collected from administrative records to estimate the link between two proxy indicators of across-sector complexity of discharge arrangements and post-operative length of stay in hospital for older people undergoing hip replacements. The results suggest that the number of local authorities involved in care planning and commissioning of social care services for discharges from a given hospital is significantly positively correlated with longer post-operative lengths of stay...
September 2018: Journal of Health Economics
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