AEI Event | E-cigarette regulation: Teens and trade-offs Remarks from Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller

February 19, 2019

E-cigarettes offer adult smokers who are unable or unwilling to give up nicotine a healthier option than traditional tobacco products. However, new evidence has pointed to a significant and unwanted rise in teenage vaping. Policymakers must decide how to best structure balanced policy that curtails youth access while ensuring adult choice. The future of smokers’ access to safer alternatives depends on such a resolution.At this event, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller will offer remarks on e-cigarette policy, followed by a panel discussion with experts.

Source: E-cigarette regulation: Teens and trade-offs Remarks from Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller


The impact of financial incentives on health and health care: Evidence from a large wellness program – Einav – 2019 – Health Economics – Wiley Online Library

January 10, 2019

Workplace wellness programs have become increasingly common in the United States, although there is not yet consensus regarding the ability of such programs to improve employees’ health and reduce health care costs. In this paper, we study a program offered by a large U.S. employer that provides substantial financial incentives directly tied to employees’ health. The program has a high participation rate among eligible employees, around 80%, and we analyze the data on the first 4 years of the program, linked to health care claims. We document robust improvements in employee health and a correlation between certain health improvements and reductions in health care cost. Despite the latter association, we cannot find direct evidence causally linking program participation to reduced health care costs, although it seems plausible that such a relationship will arise over longer horizons.

via The impact of financial incentives on health and health care: Evidence from a large wellness program – Einav – 2019 – Health Economics – Wiley Online Library


Hemp in the United States: A Case Study of Regulatory Path Dependency by Trey Malone, Kevin D. Gomez :: SSRN

January 2, 2019

The Agricultural Act of 2014 allowed for federally funded research on hemp for the first time since 1937. Since 2014, pro-hemp legislation has received increasingly bipartisan support, culminating with the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, which would remove industrial hemp from its current Schedule 1 listing and allow hemp to be treated like any other agricultural commodity. In part because of this legalization, hemp production in the United States has the potential to increase substantially. This study describes what is known about the economic and regulatory considerations of US hemp agriculture through the lens of path dependency. Important questions remain regarding the legal and regulatory landscape of hemp and are further complicated by its current listing as a Schedule 1 drug.

via Hemp in the United States: A Case Study of Regulatory Path Dependency by Trey Malone, Kevin D. Gomez :: SSRN


Uterus Transplants and the Insufficient Value of Gestation by Emily McTernan :: SSRN

October 19, 2018

Uterus transplants provide another treatment for infertility. Some might think that we should embrace such transplants as one more way to assist people to have children. However, in this paper I argue that uterus transplants are not something that we ought to fund, nor something that we should make easy to access. First, I argue that any justification of providing uterus transplants must be based on the value of the experience of gestation, rather than on claims of meeting medical need or promoting normal functioning. Second, I demonstrate that such a justification has limited prospects of success. The value of experiencing gestation is unlikely to be sufficient to justify state funding of uterus transplants and, further, we have reason to refrain from enabling such transplants.

via Uterus Transplants and the Insufficient Value of Gestation by Emily McTernan :: SSRN


Are Two Bads Better than One? A Model of Sensory Limitations by Lars John Lefgren, Olga Stoddard, John E. Stovall :: SSRN

October 18, 2018

We present a theoretical framework which explains the optimizing behavior of individuals who are exposed to many latent stimuli but prone to experience only the most salient one. We show that individuals with such preferences may find it optimal to engage in seemingly dysfunctional behavior such as self-harm. Our model also explains the behavior of individuals experiencing depression or trapped by multiple competing problems. We present experimental evidence suggesting such preferences explain the behavior of more than two thirds of subjects exposed to single and multiple painful stimuli.

via Are Two Bads Better than One? A Model of Sensory Limitations by Lars John Lefgren, Olga Stoddard, John E. Stovall :: SSRN


Truth is Truth: U.S. Abortion Law in the Global Context by Martha F. Davis, Risa Kaufman :: SSRN

October 18, 2018

As part of an effort to enact new abortion restrictions, abortion opponents increasingly characterize laws regarding abortion access in the United States as being far more permissive than the rest of the world. To support this argument, they point to a rudimentary global tally of national laws on abortion and urge policymakers to enact bans and further restrictions on abortion access in order to bring the United States more in step with “international norms” on abortion access. But international norms on abortion access cannot be portrayed through a “yes-no” tally, and uncritical reliance on a simplified scorecard is misleading, inaccurate, and ignores important protections for women’s health. There is nothing inherently troubling about looking beyond U.S. borders to inform legal and policy approaches. Both foreign law and international human rights law can provide a useful perspective for U.S. courts as well as policymakers as they assess legal questions, policy, and practice. However, a global comparative approach must give an accurate account of the laws that are being compared, and the descriptions that underlie the global abortion tally fail to meet this threshold standard. Even when relevant laws are accurately described, a valid comparative analysis requires more than just nose-counting. The comparative anti-abortionist argument treats all countries’ abortion laws as relevant for both comparing United States’ law and practice and also for identifying an international consensus, even though many of the countries listed do not share a legal tradition or other commonalities. Notably, many of the countries that inform the statistic have dramatically different legal traditions concerning gender equality and the role of religion in the law. In reality, the international trend is toward liberalization, which coincides with increasing protections in international human rights law.

via Truth is Truth: U.S. Abortion Law in the Global Context by Martha F. Davis, Risa Kaufman :: SSRN


Working Times and Overweight: Tight Schedules, Weaker Fitness? by Joan Costa-Font, Belén Saénz de Miera Juárez :: SSRN

October 18, 2018

Although the rise in obesity and overweight is related to time constraints influencing health investments (e.g., exercise, shopping and cooking time, etc.), there is limited causal evidence to substantiate such claims. This paper estimates the causal effect of a change in working times on overweight and obesity drawing from evidence from the Aubrey reform implemented in the beginning of the past decade in France. We use longitudinal data from GAZEL (INSERM) 1997-2006 that contains detailed information about health indicators, including measures of height and weight. Taking the Alsace-Mosselle department as a control group and a difference-in-differences strategy, we estimate the effect of a differential reduction in working times on body weight. Our results show evidence of 0.7% increase in average BMI an 8pp increase in the probability of overweight among blue collars exposed to the reform. In contrast, we find no effect among white collar workers. The effects are robust to different specifications and placebo tests.

via Working Times and Overweight: Tight Schedules, Weaker Fitness? by Joan Costa-Font, Belén Saénz de Miera Juárez :: SSRN