Equilibrium Labor Market Search and Health Insurance Reform
We present and empirically implement an equilibrium labor market search model where risk averse workers facing medical expenditure shocks are matched with firms making health insurance coverage decisions. Our model delivers a rich set of predictions that can account for a wide variety of phenomenon observed in the data including the correlations among firm sizes, wages, health insurance offering rates, turnover rates and workers? health compositions. We estimate our model by Generalized Method of Moments using a combination of micro datasets including Survey of Income and Program ...
Healthy food financing initiatives: Increasing access to fresh foods in underserved markets
The Fresh Food Financing Initiative in Philadelphia serves the financing needs of supermarket operators that plan to operate in underserved communities that may have limited access to affordable, healthy foods. Through successful partnerships, the Fresh Food Financing Initiative is being replicated across the country and the President?s 2011 budget proposal includes over $400 million for a national Healthy Food Financing Initiative.
Medical Expenses and Saving in Retirement: The Case of U.S. and Sweden
Many U.S. households have significant wealth late in life, contrary to the predictions of a simple life-cycle model. In this paper, we document stark differences between U.S. and Sweden regarding out-of-pocket medical and long-term-care expenses late in life, and use them to investigate their role in discouraging the elderly from dissaving. Using a consumption-saving model in retirement with significant uninsurable expense risk, we find that medical expense risk accounts for a quarter of the U.S.-Sweden difference in retirees' dissaving patterns. Furthermore, medical expense risk affects ...
Intergenerational Health Mobility in the US
Studies of intergenerational mobility have largely ignored health despite the central importance of health to welfare. We present the first estimates of intergenerational health mobility in the US by using repeated measures of self-reported health status (SRH) during adulthood from the PSID. Our main finding is that there is substantially greater health mobility than income mobility in the US. A possible explanation is that social institutions and policies are more effective at disrupting intergenerational health transmission than income transmission. We further show that health and income ...
Medical Spending, Bequests, and Asset Dynamics around the Time of Death
Using data from the Health and Retirement Survey, we document the changes in assets that occur before a person's death. Applying an event study approach, we find that during the six years preceding their deaths, the assets of single decedents decline, relative to those of similar single survivors, by an additional $20,000 on average. Over the same time span, the assets of couples who lose a spouse fall, relative to those of similar surviving couples, by an additional $90,000 on average. Households experiencing a death also incur higher out-of-pocket medical spending and other end-of-life ...
What do happiness and health satisfaction data tell us about relative risk aversion?
In this paper we provide estimates of the coefficient of relative risk aversion using information on self-reports of subjective personal well-being from the 2006 Gallup World Poll. We expand the existing literature on the use of happiness data to analyze economic issues by considering the implications of allowing for health state dependence in the utility function. Our estimates of relative risk aversion using pooled data from various country groupings are smaller than one, suggesting less concavity than log utility. We also find that controlling for health dependence generally reduces these ...
Home Equity in Retirement
Retired homeowners dissave more slowly than renters, which suggests that homeownership a?ects retirees? saving decisions. We investigate empirically and theoretically the life-cycle patterns of homeownership, housing and nonhousing assets in retirement. Using an estimated structural model of saving and housing decisions, we ?nd, ?rst, that homeowners dissave slowly because they prefer to stay in their house as long as possible but cannot easily borrow against it. Second, the 1996-2006 housing boom signi?cantly increased homeowners? assets. These channels are quantitatively signi?cant; without ...
The empirical content of models with multiple equilibria in economies with social interactions
We study a general class of models with social interactions that might display multiple equilibria. We propose an estimation procedure for these models and evaluate its efficiency and computational feasibility relative to different approaches taken to the curse of dimensionality implied by the multiplicity. Using data on smoking among teenagers, we implement the proposed estimation procedure to understand how group interactions affect health-related choices. We find that interaction effects are strong both at the school level and at the smaller friends-network level. Multiplicity of ...
The effects of health and wealth shocks on retirement decisions
Both health status and net worth can affect retirement decisions. In some cases, early retirement may be precipitated by a shock to an individual?s health and/or economic status. The authors examine how health and wealth shocks affect retirement decisions. They use data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to estimate a first-differences model of health and wealth shocks on retirement over the course of the 2000s in the United States. Their results suggest that acute health shocks are associated with labor market exits for older American men but not women. These results appear particularly ...