For many children in the United States, school meals represent a vital source of reliable and nutritious food. Utilizing variation caused by the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) in Georgia schools, we estimate models of school-level child health measured by the percentage of healthy weight children and average Body Mass Index (BMI) score. CEP eligibility is used as an instrument for CEP participation and the percentage of students enrolled in free and reduced-price school lunches, as well as in the reduced form. We find that CEP participation increases the percentage of healthy weight students in a school and reduces average BMI. We find no statistically significant evidence to support a deleterious effect from either the CEP or free school meals on child health outcomes. Subsample analyses suggest that that the effect of school meals on health varies across grade and location type, with no effect on high schools or rural schools.
Estimating the Effects of Subsidized School Meals on Child Health: Evidence from the Community Eligibility Provision in Georgia SchoolsMay 29, 2018
This paper studies the effects of day care exposure on behavioral disorders and mental and physical health at various ages during childhood. We draw on a unique set of merged population register data from Sweden over the period 1999-2008. This includes merged information at the individual level from the inpatient and outpatient registers, the population register and the income tax register. The outpatient register contains all ambulatory care contacts including all contacts with physicians and therapists. Visits are recorded by day, and comprehensive diagnoses are recorded for each visit.By exploiting variation in day care exposure by age generated by a major day care policy reform, we estimate cumulative and instantaneous effects on child health at different ages. We find a positive cumulative impact on behavior at primary school ages, in particular for children from low socio-economic status households, and substitution of infections from primary school ages to low ages. All this affects health care utilization and leads to a moderate reduction in health care costs. Results are confirmed by analyses based on a sibling design and on regional and household-specific components of day care fees.
The growth of novel flexible work formats raises a number of questions about their effects upon health and the potential required changes in public policy. However, answering these questions is hampered by lack of suitable data. This is the first paper that draws on comprehensive longitudinal administrative data to examine the impact of self-employment in terms of health. It also considers an objective measure of health – hospital admissions – that is not subject to recall or other biases that may affect previous studies. Our findings, based on a representative sample of over 100,000 individuals followed monthly from 2005 to 2011 in Portugal, indicate that the likelihood of hospital admission of self-employed individuals is about half that of wage workers. This finding holds even when accounting for a potential self-selection of the healthy into self-employment. Similar results are found for mortality rates.
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 each capture a distinct dimension of social mobility. We also characterize heterogeneity in health mobility by child gender, parent gender, race, education, geography and health insurance coverage in childhood. We find some important differences in the patterns of health mobility compared with income mobility and also find some evidence that there has been a notable decline in health mobility for more recent cohorts. We use a rich set of background characteristics to highlight potential mechanisms leading to intergenerational health persistence.
The hypothesis that active community involvement is beneficial for health finds strong support in the medical literature and in most policy guidelines for active ageing in OECD countries. We test it empirically and find that voluntary work has a significant impact on several measures of mental wellbeing. When accounting for fixed effects, panel attrition, endogeneity, and reverse causality, the positive effect of voluntary work remains robust. For the first time in the literature, we calculate the monetary equivalent of mental wellbeing benefits of voluntary work with the compensating variation approach, and estimate them up to a maximum of around 9,500 euros per indicator. Our results imply that policies fostering voluntary work of the elderly would contribute to active ageing and the wellbeing of the elderly and reduce welfare costs for society.
The objective of this research is to measure and compare the importance of the contribution of inequality of opportunity in child health inequality. The latter is decomposed into within opportunity inequality and the between opportunity inequality using a non-parametric approach after building groups with deducted circumstance variables.
The results showed that the total health inequality experienced a decrease between 1998 and 2013 from 0.65 to 0.26 in 15 years unlike the inequality of opportunities which has increased. It goes from 0.14 to 0.18 respectively in 1998 and 2013. The relatively low levels of inequality of opportunity are interpreted as an estimate of the lower bound of the set of variables of circumstances that can influence child health. Considering the results, the increase in the level of inequality of health opportunity would come more from the increase of the “unfavorable opportunity” group’s contribution.
Using longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics for 1997-2013 and difference-in-differences (DD) and difference-in-difference-in-differences (DDD) techniques, we estimate the effects of minimum wages on absence from work due to own and others’ (such as children’s) illnesses. We use person fixed effects within both linear and two-part models, the latter to explore changes at extensive and intensive margins. A lower educated group (likely affected by minimum wages) is compared with higher educated groups (likely unaffected). Within the lower educated group, we find higher minimum wages are associated with lower rates of absence due to own and others’ illness combined and due to own illness alone, but not associated with absence due to others’ illness. A $1 increase in the real minimum wage results in 19% (in DD model) and 32% (DDD) decreases in the absence rate due to own illness evaluated at the mean. These findings are strongest for persons who are not employed year-round and among the lowest wage earners. In additional analysis, we show that these effects are likely not due to changes in labor supply or job-related attributes. Instead, we find a possible mechanism: higher minimum wages improve self-reported health for lower educated workers.