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Title: Essays on Health Economics and Wellbeing
Authors: Marquez-Padilla, Fernanda
Advisors: Currie, Janet M.
Contributors: Economics Department
Keywords: Happiness
Health Behavior
Human Capital
Medication Adherence
Subjects: Economics
Public health
Public policy
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: The essays of this dissertation are concerned with different topics that affect individuals' health and wellbeing. Chapter 1 analyzes the effect of a policy which reduced the frequency of prescription renewals from 30 to 90 days on patients' behavior and health outcomes. I find that stable hypertensive patients on the 90 day regime improved medication adherence, by reducing the number of days in which they were out of antihypertensive medication by 2.6 days (35%), and experienced no drawbacks in health outcomes. Patients appear to value being on this low-frequency regime, as they positively modified their adherence in order to remain on it. I also find evidence of positive spillovers in patients' adherence, as clinic congestion was reduced. Chapter 2 studies the effects on human capital accumulation of the sharp increase in violence experienced in Mexico after 2006, known as "The War on Drugs". The upsurge in violence is expected to have direct effects on individuals' schooling decisions, but not indirect effects, as there was no severe destruction of infrastructure. This chapter finds evidence that there were no significant effects on human capital accumulation. My analysis shows that, at most, there are very small effects on total enrollment, and that they may be driven by some students migrating. These minimal effects on human capital accumulation today should have little to no adverse effects on long-term growth outcomes in Mexico. This chapter is coauthored with Francisco Pérez-Arce and Carlos Rodríguez-Castelán. Chapter 3 analyzes the sensitivity of self-reported measures of subjective wellbeing to country-specific factors that affect the interpretation of questions and scales without affecting wellbeing itself. I find evidence that arbitrary differences in grading systems affect the distribution and mean of wellbeing measures. Since the choice of grading systems is unlikely to be correlated with variables affecting wellbeing, the chapter concludes that grading systems affect the interpretation of wellbeing scales--probably by providing different reference points that anchor individuals' responses. In particular, I find that countries with a higher threshold for passing grades tend to report higher levels of happiness. This chapter is coauthored with Jorge Álvarez.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Economics

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