Esaays in Empirical Health Economics

TitleEsaays in Empirical Health Economics
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsKaufman, A
Date Published2009
UniversityUniversity of Southern California
CityUnited States, California
KeywordsHealth Conditions and Status

These essays examine econometric models of health behavior. The first essay evaluates the Kids N Fitness program, an intervention to reduce childhood overweight and obesity. The second essay uses a Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles private dataset to examine determinants of diabetic glycemic control transitions. The third essay analyzes drinking behavior and the response to spousal death among the elderly, utilizing the Health and Retirement Study panel dataset. In each case, I analyze the health behavior choice controlling for available individual characteristics including economic variables. The models apply rigorous econometric techniques and are explicit about the underlying assumptions. I find that the Kids N Fitness program is effective at helping overweight children reduce their BMI Z Score. In addition, the analysis points towards the conclusion that more highly trained instructors do not yield improved program efficacy. I find that being a teenager negatively impacts the probability that a child will return to good diabetes control from a spell of poor control. Lastly, I find evidence that spousal death and being a widow significantly impact elderly female drinking but not elderly male drinking. The topics in these essays are generally approached from the medical literature and not the economic literature. My analyses illustrate some of the potential value of applying rigorous econometric and applied microeconomic techniques to these questions in health and healthcare.

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Short TitleEsaays in Empirical Health Economics
Citation Key6371