While a growing literature documents the short-term effects of public programs providing children with nutritious food, there is scarce evidence of the long-term effects of such programs. This paper studies the long-term consequences of access to nutritious food using the rollout of a free school breakfast program in Norwegian cities. This program provided children with nutritious food and replaced a hot school meal at the end of the day with similar caloric value but less micronutrients. Our results indicate that access to a nutritious school breakfast increases education by 0.1 years and earnings by 2-4 percent.
Childhood Nutrition and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from a School Breakfast Program by Aline Butikofer, Eirin Mølland, Kjell G. Salvanes :: SSRNDecember 6, 2016
This paper analyzes the developmental origins and the evolution of health, cognitive, and socio-emotional skills during early childhood, from age 0 to 5. We explicitly model the dynamic interactions of health with the child’s behavior and cognitive skills, as well as the role of parental investment. A dynamic factor model corrects for the presence of measurement error in the proxy for the latent traits. Using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), we find that children’s capabilities strongly interact and build on each other: health is an important determinant of early socio-emotional development; in turn socio-emotional skills have a positive impact on the evolution of both health and cognitive functions; on the other side, the effect of cognitive abilities on health is negligible. Furthermore, all facets of human capital display a high degree of persistence. Finally, mother’s investments are an important determinant of the child’s health, cognitive, and socio-emotional development early in life.
Explaining the Rise in Educational Gradients in Mortality by David M. Cutler, Fabian Lange, Ellen Meara, Seth Richards-Shubik, Christopher J. Ruhm :: SSRNDecember 6, 2016
The long-standing inverse relationship between education and mortality strengthened substantially later in the 20th century. This paper examines the reasons for this increase. We show that behavioral risk factors are not of primary importance. Smoking has declined more for the better educated, but not enough to explain the trend. Obesity has risen at similar rates across education groups, and control of blood pressure and cholesterol has increased fairly uniformly as well. Rather, our results show that the mortality returns to risk factors, and conditional on risk factors, the return to education, have grown over time.
The Economic Contribution of Unauthorized Workers: An Industry Analysis by Ryan D. Edwards, Francesc Ortega :: SSRNDecember 6, 2016
This paper provides a quantitative assessment of the economic contribution of unauthorized workers to the U.S. economy, and the potential gains from legalization. We employ a theoretical framework that allows for multiple industries and a heterogeneous workforce in terms of skills and productivity. Capital and labor are the inputs in production and the different types of labor are combined in a multi-nest CES framework that builds on Borjas (2003) and Ottaviano and Peri (2012). The model is calibrated using data on the characteristics of the workforce, including an indicator for imputed unauthorized status (Center for Migration Studies, 2014), and industry output from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Our results show that the economic contribution of unauthorized workers to the U.S. economy is substantial, at approximately 3% of private-sector GDP annually, which amounts to close to $5 trillion over a 10-year period. These effects on production are smaller than the share of unauthorized workers in employment, which is close to 5%. The reason is that unauthorized workers are less skilled and appear to be less productive, on average, than natives and legal immigrants with the same observable skills. We also find that legalization of unauthorized workers would increase their contribution to 3.6% of private-sector GDP. The source of these gains stems from the productivity increase arising from the expanded labor market opportunities for these workers which, in turn, would lead to an increase in capital investment by employers.
Health Care Expenditure and Income: A Global Perspective by Badi H. Baltagi, Raffaele Lagravinese, Francesco Moscone, Elisa Tosetti :: SSRNDecember 6, 2016
This paper investigates the long-run economic relationship between health care expenditure and income in the world using data on 167 countries over the period 1995-2012, collected from the World Bank data set. The analysis is carried using panel data methods that allow one to account for unobserved heterogeneity, temporal persistence, and crosssection dependence in the form of either a common factor model or a spatial process. We estimate a global measure of income elasticity using all countries in the sample, and for sub-groups of countries, depending on their geo-political area and income. Our findings suggest that at the global level, health care is a necessity rather than a luxury. However, results vary greatly depending on the sub-sample analysed. Our findings seem to suggest that size of income elasticity depends on the position of different countries in the global income distribution, with poorer countries showing higher elasticity.
The Long-Run Effects of Childhood Insurance Coverage: Medicaid Implementation, Adult Health, and Labor Market OutcomesDecember 5, 2016
This paper exploits the original introduction of Medicaid (1966-1970) and the federal mandate that states cover all cash welfare recipients to estimate the effect of childhood Medicaid eligibility on adult health, labor supply, program participation, and income. Cohorts born closer to Medicaid implementation and in states with higher pre-existing welfare-based eligibility accumulated more Medicaid eligibility in childhood but did not differ on a range of other health, socioeconomic, and policy characteristics. Early childhood Medicaid eligibility reduces mortality and disability and, for whites, increases extensive margin labor supply, and reduces receipt of disability transfer programs and public health insurance up to 50 years later. Total income does not change because earnings replace disability benefits. The government earns a discounted annual return of between 2 and 7 percent on the original cost of childhood coverage for these cohorts, most of which comes from lower cash transfer payments.
This study evaluates how large changes in public health insurance coverage affect provider behavior and patient wait times by analyzing a common type of primary care: dental services. When states expand coverage of dental services to adult Medicaid beneficiaries, dentists’ participation in Medicaid increases and dentists see more publicly insured patients. Dentists supply more visits but only modestly increase the amount of time spent working. They achieve this in part by making greater use of dental hygienists. Wait times increase modestly, with the largest increases in wait times observed in states with restrictive scope of practice laws governing dental hygienists.
Source: American Economic Association