Essays on Health and Education

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Overview

Title
Essays on Health and Education
Contributors
Borrescio Higa, Florencia (creator)
Aizer, Anna (Director)
Munshi, Kaivan (Reader)
Chay, Kenneth (Reader)
Nagavarapu, Sriniketh (Reader)
Brown University. Economics (sponsor)
Doi
10.7301/Z0G15Z6X
Copyright Date
2013
Abstract
Chapter 1 analyzes how market forces in the retail market for pharmaceuticals affect utilization of health care. Specifically, I study the impact of Walmart’s $4 Prescription Drug Program on utilization of antihypertensives and hospitalizations for conditions amenable to drug therapy. The empirical strategy relies on the change in the availability of cheap generic drugs introduced by Walmart’s program in 2006, exploiting differences in the distance to the nearest Walmart store across ZIP codes. I find that living close to a source of cheap generic drugs increases adherence to antihypertensive medications and decreases the probability of an avoidable hospitalization, saving over $50.5 million annually in inpatient costs. These findings shed light on the potential of market forces to have a significant impact on utilization and overall costs in the health care system. <br/> The income distribution has widened significantly over the past 40 years and a major concern over rising inequality is its potential to reduce intergenerational mobility. In Chapter 2 we estimate the impact of rising inequality on offspring health at birth, a measure of human capital that has been shown to be highly correlated with future education, IQ and income. We estimate the impact of relative rank on newborn health and find positive and significant effects, with larger effects for those at the bottom of the distribution. These results suggest that increases in inequality in the current generation are likely to lead to reduced intergenerational mobility and greater levels of inequality in the next generation. <br/> Finally, Chapter 3 analyzes the effect of the recent U.S. financial crisis on community college enrollment among recent high school graduates. I find that community college enrollment rates increased by about six percentage points during 2008, after controlling for individual and family background characteristics. Consistent with the hypothesis that this increase was driven by macroeconomic factors, I find that states that were more severely affected by the crisis experienced larger increases in enrollment rates. I also find that enrollment rates in four-year colleges did not increase during 2008 and actually decreased in states where the economic downturn was more severe.<br/>
Keywords
inequality
birth
prescription drugs
generics
Economics
Health
Equality
Education
Childbirth
Drugs
Generic drugs
Notes
Thesis (Ph.D. -- Brown University (2013)
Extent
x, 137 p.

Citation

Borrescio Higa, Florencia, "Essays on Health and Education" (2013). Economics Theses and Dissertations. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library. https://doi.org/10.7301/Z0G15Z6X

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