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Working Paper
The Impact of Car Pollution on Infant and Child Health: Evidence from Emissions Cheating
Car exhaust is a major source of air pollution, but little is known about its impacts on population health. We exploit the dispersion of emissions-cheating diesel cars?which secretly polluted up to 150 times as much as gasoline cars?across the United States from 2008-2015 as a natural experiment to measure the health impact of car pollution. Using the universe of vehicle registrations, we demonstrate that a 10 percent cheating-induced increase in car exhaust increases rates of low birth weight and acute asthma attacks among children by 1.9 and 8.0 percent, respectively. These health impacts occur at all pollution levels and across the entire socioeconomic spectrum.
AUTHORS: Alexander, Diane; Schwandt, Hannes
DATE: 2019-06-13

Working Paper
Opioids and the Labor Market
This paper finds evidence that opioid availability decreases labor force participation while a large labor market shock does not influence the share of opioid abusers. We first identify the effect of availability on participation using the geographic variation in opioid prescription rates. We use a combination of the American Community Survey (ACS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) county-level prescription data to examine labor market patterns across both rural and metropolitan areas of the United States from 2007 to 2016. Individuals in areas with higher prescription rates are less likely to participate after accounting for standard demographic factors and regional controls. This relationship remains significant for important demographic groups when increasingly strong panel data controls, including a full set of geographic fixed effects and measures of local labor market conditions in 2000, are introduced to the regressions. We also investigate the possibility of reverse causality, using the Great Recession as an instrument to identify the effect of weak labor demand on opioid abuse. The share abusing opioids did not increase after the onset of the Great Recession. The evidence on the frequency of abuse is more ambiguous since the identified increases could be the continuation of a pre-trend.
AUTHORS: Aliprantis, Dionissi; Schweitzer, Mark E.
DATE: 2018-05-15

Working Paper
The Impact of Tobacco-Free School Laws on Student and Staff Smoking Behavior
A number of US states have enacted bans on tobacco use by students, staff, and visitors anywhere on the grounds of public elementary and secondary schools statewide. These laws are intended to reduce tobacco use, reduce exposure to secondhand smoke, reinforce anti-tobacco curricula taught in schools, and prevent children from viewing their teachers and fellow students using tobacco products. We examine the impact that the laws have on the smoking behavior of students, teachers, and other school staff by estimating difference-in-differences models that exploit the time variation in adoption of the laws across states. We generally find that these laws do not impact smoking behavior, although we do find some evidence suggesting a possible effect on nonteaching school staff.
AUTHORS: Bhatt, Rachana; Hinrichs, Peter
DATE: 2017-12-21

Working Paper
Opioids and the Labor Market
This paper studies the relationship between local opioid prescription rates and labor market outcomes for prime-age men and women between 2006 and 2016. We estimate the relationship at the most disaggregated level feasible in the American Community Survey in order to provide estimates that include rural areas that have, in some cases, seen particularly high prescription rates. Given the limited time period, it is particularly important to account for geographic variation in both short-term and long-term economic conditions. We estimate three panel models to control for evolving local economic conditions: a di?erence-in-di?erences specification, a specification with specific controls for economic conditions, and a model that focuses on a comparison group of place with similar performance in 2000. These modelling approaches find a range of statistically significant and economically substantial results for both prime-age men and women. For example, we find that a 10 percent higher local prescription rate is associated with a decrease in the prime-age labor force participation rate of between 0.15 and 0.47 percentage points for men and between 0.15 and 0.19 percentage points for women, depending on the control strategy. We also estimate effects for narrower demographic groups and find substantially larger estimates for some groups, notably for white and minority men with less than a BA. We also present evidence on reverse causality. We show that a short-term unemployment shock did not increase the share of people misusing prescription opioids and that prescription levels vary substantially within quintiles of longer-term labor market performance. Our estimates are generally robust to estimation within those quintiles of 2000 labor market performance. These results argue against theories of reverse causation that rely on prescriptions rates being higher in labor markets that were already weaker.
AUTHORS: Fee, Kyle; Aliprantis, Dionissi; Schweitzer, Mark E.
DATE: 2019-11-15

Working Paper
Opioids and the Labor Market
This paper studies the relationship between local opioid prescription rates and labor market outcomes. We improve the joint measurement of labor market outcomes and prescription rates in the rural areas where nearly 30 percent of the US population lives. We find that increasing the local prescription rate by 10 percent decreases the prime-age employment rate by 0.50 percentage points for men and 0.17 percentage points for women. This effect is larger for white men with less than a BA (0.70 percentage points) and largest for minority men with less than a BA (1.01 percentage points). Geography is an obstacle to giving a causal interpretation to these results, especially since they were estimated in the midst of a large recession and recovery that generated considerable cross-sectional variation in local economic performance. We show that our results are not sensitive to most approaches to controlling for places experiencing either contemporaneous labor market shocks or persistently weak labor market conditions. We also present evidence on reverse causality, finding that a short-term unemployment shock did not increase the share of people abusing prescription opioids. Our estimates imply that prescription opioids can account for 44 percent of the realized national decrease in men's labor force participation between 2001 and 2015
AUTHORS: Fee, Kyle; Aliprantis, Dionissi; Schweitzer, Mark E.
DATE: 2019-03-01

Working Paper
The Evolution of Health over the Life Cycle
We construct a unified objective measure of health status: the frailty index, defined as the cumulative sum of all adverse health indicators observed for an individual. First, we show that the frailty index has several advantages over self-reported health status, particularly when studying health dynamics. Then we estimate a stochastic process for frailty dynamics over the life cycle. We find that the autocovariance structure of frailty in panel data strongly supports a process that allows the conditional variance of frailty shocks to increase with age. Our frailty measure and dynamic process can be used by researchers to study the evolution of health over the life cycle and its economic implications.
AUTHORS: Hosseini, Roozbeh; Kopecky, Karen A.; Zhao, Kai
DATE: 2019-06-01

Working Paper
How do Doctors Respond to Incentives? Unintended Consequences of Paying Doctors to Reduce Costs
Billions of dollars have been spent on pilot programs searching for ways to reduce healthcare costs. I study one such program, where hospitals pay doctors bonuses for reducing the total hospital costs of admitted Medicare patients (a ?bundled payment?). Doctors respond to the bonuses by becoming more likely to admit patients whose treatment can generate high bonuses, and sorting healthier patients into participating hospitals. Conditional on patient health, however, doctors do not reduce costs or change procedure use. These results highlight the ability of doctors to game incentive schemes, and the risks of basing nationwide healthcare reforms on pilot programs.
AUTHORS: Alexander, Diane
DATE: 2017-03-09

Working Paper
Health-care reform or labor market reform? a quantitative analysis of the Affordable Care Act
An equilibrium model with ?rm and worker heterogeneity is constructed to analyze labor market and welfare implications of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Our model implies a signi?cant reduction in the uninsured rate from 22.6 percent to 5.6 percent. {{p}} The model predicts a moderate positive welfare gain from the ACA, due to redistribution of income through Health Insurance Subsidies at the Exchange as well as Medicaid expansion. About 2.1 million more part-time jobs are created under the ACA, in expense of 1.6 million full-time jobs, mainly because the link between full-time employment and health insurance is weakened. The model predicts a small negative effect on total hours worked (0.36%), partly because of the general equilibrium effect.
AUTHORS: Nakajima, Makoto; Tuzemen, Didem
DATE: 2015-09-01

Working Paper
Health-care reform or labor market reform? A quantitative analysis of the affordable care act
An equilibrium model with firm and worker heterogeneity is constructed to analyze labor market and welfare implications of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The authors? model implies a significant reduction in the uninsured rate from 22.6 percent to 5.6 percent. The model predicts a moderate positive welfare gain from the ACA because of the redistribution of income through health insurance subsidies at the exchange as well as the Medicaid expansion. About 2.1 million more part-time jobs are created under the ACA at the expense of 1.6 million full-time jobs, mainly because the link between full-time employment and health insurance is weakened. The model predicts a small negative effect on total hours worked (0.36 percent), partly because of the general equilibrium effect.
AUTHORS: Tuzemen, Didem; Nakajima, Makoto
DATE: 2015-09-16

Working Paper
The Impact of Car Pollution on Infant and Child Health: Evidence from Emissions Cheating
Car exhaust is a major source of air pollution, but little is known about its impacts on population health. We exploit the dispersion of emissions-cheating diesel cars?which secretly polluted up to 150 times as much as gasoline cars?across the United States from 2008-2015 as a natural experiment to measure the health impact of car pollution. Using the universe of vehicle registrations, we demonstrate that a 10 percent cheating-induced increase in car exhaust increases rates of low birth weight and acute asthma attacks among children by 1.9 and 8.0 percent, respectively. These health impacts occur at all pollution levels and across the entire socioeconomic spectrum.
AUTHORS: Alexander, Diane; Schwandt, Hannes
DATE: 2019-06-13

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