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Economic Inquiry

Joachim Marti, John Buckell, Johanna Catherine Maclean, Jody Sindelar
A growing share of the United States population uses e-cigarettes but the optimal regulation of these controversial products remains an open question. We conduct a discrete choice experiment to investigate how adult tobacco cigarette smokers' demand for e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes varies by four attributes: (i) whether e-cigarettes are considered healthier than tobacco cigarettes, (ii) the effectiveness of e-cigarettes as a cessation device, (iii) bans on use in public places, and (iv) price. We find that adult smokers' demand for e-cigarettes is motivated more by health concerns than by the desire to avoid smoking bans or higher prices...
January 2019: Economic Inquiry
Janet Currie, Ishita Rajani
There is a large literature suggesting that "WIC works" to improve birth outcomes. However, methodological limitations related to selection into the WIC program have left room for doubt about this conclusion. This paper uses birth records from New York City to address some limitations of the previous literature. We estimate models with mother fixed effects to control for fixed characteristics of mothers and we directly investigate the way that time-varying characteristics of mothers affect selection into the WIC program...
October 2015: Economic Inquiry
Day Manoli, Kathleen J Mullen, Mathis Wagner
This paper exploits a combination of policy variation from multiple pension reforms in Austria and administrative data from the Austrian Social Security Database. Using the policy changes for identification, we estimate social security wealth and accrual elasticities in individuals' retirement decisions. Next, we use these elasticities to estimate a dynamic programming model of retirement decisions. Finally, we use the estimated model to examine the labor supply and welfare consequences of potential social security reforms...
October 2015: Economic Inquiry
Agne Suziedelyte
According to the literature, video game playing can improve such cognitive skills as problem solving, abstract reasoning, and spatial logic. I test this hypothesis using The Child Development Supplement to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. The endogeneity of video game playing is addressed by using panel data methods and controlling for an extensive list of child and family characteristics. To address the measurement error in video game playing, I instrument children's weekday time use with their weekend time use...
April 2015: Economic Inquiry
Hope Corman, Dhaval M Dave, Nancy E Reichman, Dhiman Das
Exploiting changes in welfare policy across states and over time and comparing relevant population subgroups within an econometric difference-in-differences framework, we estimate the effects of welfare reform on adult women's illicit drug use from 1992 to 2002, the period during which welfare reform unfolded in the U.S. The analyses are based on all available and appropriate national datasets, each offering unique strengths and measuring a different drug-related outcome. We investigate self-reported illicit drug use (from the National Household Surveys on Drug Abuse and National Surveys on Drug Use and Health), drug-related prison admissions (from the National Corrections Reporting Program), drug-related arrests (from Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reports), and drug-related emergency department episodes (from the Drug Abuse Warning Network)...
January 1, 2013: Economic Inquiry
Hugo M Mialon
In this paper, we develop a signaling model of rational lovemaking. In the act of lovemaking, a man and a woman send each other possibly deceptive signals about their true state of ecstasy. For example, if one of the partners is not in ecstasy, then he or she may decide to fake it. The model predicts that (1) a higher cost of faking lowers the probability of faking; (2) middle-aged and old men are more likely to fake than young men; (3) young and old women are more likely to fake than middle-aged women; and (4) love, formally defined as a mixture of altruism and demand for togetherness, increases the likelihood of faking...
2012: Economic Inquiry
Glen R Waddell
I consider the alcohol consumption of opposite-gender peers as explanatory to adolescent sexual intercourse and demonstrate that female sexual activity is higher where there is higher alcohol consumption among male peers. This relationship is robust to school fixed effects, cannot be explained by broader cohort effects or general antisocial behaviors in male peer groups, and is distinctly different from any influence of the alcohol consumption of female peers which is shown to have no influence on female sexual activity...
2012: Economic Inquiry
Jason M Fletcher, Barbara L Wolfe
This paper uses national longitudinal data and several new empirical strategies to examine the consequences of teenage fatherhood. The key contribution is to compare economic outcomes of young fathers to young men whose partners experienced a miscarriage rather than a live birth. The results suggest that teenage fatherhood decreases years of schooling and the likelihood of receiving a high school diploma and increases general educational development receipt. Teenage fatherhood also appears to increase early marriage and cohabitation, and has mixed short-term effects on several labor market outcomes...
2012: Economic Inquiry
Brice Corgnet
We use peer assessments as a tool to allocate joint profits in a real-effort team experiment. We find that using this incentive mechanism reduces team performance. More specifically, we show that teams composed of acquaintances rather than strangers actually underperform in a context of peer evaluations. We conjecture that peer evaluations undermine the inherently high level of intrinsic motivation that characterizes teams composed of friends and possibly exacerbate negative reciprocity among partners. Finally, we analyze the determinants of peer assessments and stress the crucial importance of equality concerns...
2012: Economic Inquiry
Laura Blow, Ian Walker, Yu Zhu
Governments, over much of the developed world, make significant financial transfers to parents with dependent children. For example, in the United States the recently introduced Child Tax Credit (CTC), which goes to almost all children, costs almost $1 billion each week, or about 0.4% of GNP. The United Kingdom has even more generous transfers and spends an average of about $30 a week on each of about 8 million children—about 1% of GNP. The typical rationale given for these transfers is that they are good for our children and here we investigate the effect of such transfers on household spending patterns...
2012: Economic Inquiry
Delia Furtado
Common explanations for the generally negative relationship between education and ethnic endogamy include (1) education makes immigrants and their children better able to adapt to native culture thereby eliminating the need for a same-ethnicity spouse and (2) education raises the likelihood of leaving ethnic enclaves, thereby decreasing the probability of meeting potential same-ethnicity spouses. This paper considers a third option, the role of assortative matching on education. If education distributions differ by ethnicity, then spouse-searchers may trade similarities in ethnicity for similarities in education when choosing spouses...
2012: Economic Inquiry
Steven Stillman, John Gibson, David McKenzie
This paper uses a unique survey designed by the authors to compare migrant children who enter New Zealand through a random ballot with children in the home country of Tonga whose families were unsuccessful participants in the same ballots. We find that migration increases height and reduces stunting of infants and toddlers, but also increases BMI and obesity among 3- to 5-yr-olds. These impacts are quite large even though the average migrant household has been in New Zealand for less than 1 yr. Additional results suggest that these impacts occur because of dietary change rather than direct income effects...
2012: Economic Inquiry
Shirley H Liu, Frank Heiland
Using a representative sample of children all born to unwed parents drawn from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study and a potential outcome approach to account for self-selection into marriage, we investigate whether marriage after childbearing has a causal effect on early child development. Comparing children with similar background characteristics and parental mate-selection patterns who differ only in terms of whether their parents marry after childbirth, we find that marriage after childbirth significantly increases a child's early cognitive performance but there is no evidence that it affects child asthma risk or behavioral outcomes...
2012: Economic Inquiry
Pedro Cavalcanti Ferreira, Samuel Pessôa, Marcelo Rodrigues dos Santos
This paper studies the impact of HIV/AIDS on per capita income and education. It explores two channels on how HIV/AIDS affects income that have not been sufficiently stressed by previous literature: the reduction of the incentives to stay in school due to shorter expected longevity and the reduction in productivity of experienced workers. In the model, individuals live for three periods, may get infected in the second period, and with some probability die of AIDS before reaching the third period of their lives...
2011: Economic Inquiry
Bhagwan Chowdhry
I formulate a simple and parsimonious evolutionary model that shows that because most species face a possibility of dying because of external factors, called extrinsic mortality in the biology literature, it can simultaneously explain (a) why we discount the future, (b) get weaker with age, and (c) display risk-aversion. The paper suggests that testable restrictions—across species, across time, or across genders—among time preference, aging, and risk-aversion could be analyzed in a simple framework .
2011: Economic Inquiry
Teresa D Harrison
In this paper, we compare potential and realized cost savings from hospital mergers. Our approach isolates changes in realized cost savings due to different output mixes from systematic changes due to time and also provides a measure of the potential cost savings due to scale economies. Our findings suggest that economies of scale are present for merging hospitals and they realize these cost savings immediately following a merger. However, we also show that over time, cost savings from the merger decrease and the proportion of hospitals experiencing positive cost savings declines...
2011: Economic Inquiry
Travis J Lybbert, Christopher B Barrett
The growing literature on poverty traps emphasizes the links between multiple equilibria and risk avoidance. However, multiple equilibria may also foster risk-taking behavior by some poor people. We illustrate this idea with a simple analytical model in which people with different wealth and ability endowments make investment and risky activity choices in the presence of known nonconvex asset dynamics. This model underscores a crucial distinction between familiar static concepts of risk aversion and forward-looking dynamic risk responses to nonconvex asset dynamics...
2011: Economic Inquiry
Robert L Scharff, W Kip Viscusi
Individuals with higher personal rates of time preference will be more likely to smoke. Although previous studies have found no evidence of a relationship between smoking and rates of time preference, analysis of implicit rates of time preference associated with workers' wage fatality risk trade-offs indicates that smokers have higher rates of time preference with respect to years of life. Current smokers have an implied rate of time preference of 13.8% as compared to 8.1% for nonsmokers. Current smokers who are blue-collar workers have rates of time preference with respect to years of life of 16...
2011: Economic Inquiry
Charles Courtemanche
I find evidence of a negative association between gasoline prices and body weight using a fixed effects model with several robustness checks. I also show that increases in gas prices are associated with additional walking and a reduction in the frequency with which people eat at restaurants, explaining their effect on weight. My estimates imply that 8% of the rise in obesity between 1979 and 2004 can be attributed to the concurrent drop in real gas prices, and that a permanent $1 increase in gasoline prices would reduce overweight and obesity in the United States by 7% and 10%...
2011: Economic Inquiry
Maria Marta Ferreyra, Grigory Kosenok
We develop and estimate a model of market demand for a new pharmaceutical, whose quality is learned through prescriptions by forward-looking physicians. We use a panel of antiulcer prescriptions from Italian physicians between 1990 and 1992 and focus on a new molecule available since 1990. We solve the model by calculating physicians' optimal decision rules as functions of their beliefs about the new pharmaceutical. According to our counterfactuals, physicians' initial pessimism and uncertainty can have large, negative effects on their propensity to prescribe the new drug and on expected health outcomes...
2011: Economic Inquiry
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