NBER Publications by Jessica Y. Ho

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June 2016Adult Mortality Five Years after a Natural Disaster: Evidence from the Indian Ocean Tsunami
with Elizabeth Frankenberg, Cecep Sumantri, Duncan Thomas: w22317
Exposure to extreme events has been hypothesized to affect subsequent mortality because of mortality selection and scarring effects of the event itself. We examine survival at and in the five years after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami for a population-representative sample of residents of Aceh, Indonesia who were differentially exposed to the disaster. For this population, the dynamics of selection and scarring are a complex function of the degree of tsunami impact in the community, the nature of individual exposures, age at exposure, and gender. Among individuals from tsunami-affected communities we find evidence for positive mortality selection among older individuals, with stronger effects for males than for females, and no evidence of scarring. Among individuals from oth...
June 2015Biological Health Risks and Economic Development
with Elizabeth Frankenberg, Duncan Thomas: w21277
With populations aging and the epidemic of obesity spreading across the globe, global health risks are shifting toward non-communicable diseases. Innovative biomarker data from recently conducted population-representative surveys in lower, middle and higher income countries are used to describe how four key biological health risks – hypertension, cholesterol, glucose and inflammation – vary with economic development and, within each country, with age, gender and education. As obesity rises in lower income countries, the burden of non-communicable diseases will rise in roughly predictable ways and the costs to society are potentially very large. Investigations that explain cross-country differences in these relationships will have a major impact on advancing understanding of the complex int...
August 2009Low Life Expectancy in the United States: Is the Health Care System at Fault?
with Samuel H. Preston: w15213
Life expectancy in the United States fares poorly in international comparisons, primarily because of high mortality rates above age 50. Its low ranking is often blamed on a poor performance by the health care system rather than on behavioral or social factors. This paper presents evidence on the relative performance of the US health care system using death avoidance as the sole criterion. We find that, by standards of OECD countries, the US does well in terms of screening for cancer, survival rates from cancer, survival rates after heart attacks and strokes, and medication of individuals with high levels of blood pressure or cholesterol. We consider in greater depth mortality from prostate cancer and breast cancer, diseases for which effective methods of identification and treatment have b...

Published: “Low Life Expectancy in the United States: Is the Health Care System at Fault?” S.H. Preston and Jessica Ho. Pages 259 - 98 in International Differences in Mortality at Older Ages: Dimensions and Sources . Eileen Crimmins, Samuel Preston, and Barney Cohen, editors. 2011. National Academies Press . Washin gton, D.C. 2011

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