NBER Publications by Alison Evans Cuellar

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Working Papers and Chapters

March 2011The Effects of Alcohol Policies in Reducing Entry Rates and Time Spent in Foster Care
with Sara Markowitz, Ryan M. Conrad, Michael Grossman: w16915
The purpose of this paper is to empirically estimate the propensity for alcohol-related policies to influence rates of entry into foster care and the length of time spent in foster care. Alcohol consumption is believed to be major contributing factor to child maltreatment, associated with an increased likelihood of abuse and longer durations once in foster care. We analyze a panel of state-level foster care entry rates over time, followed by a duration analysis of individual-level cases. The alcohol regulations of interest include beer, wine, and liquor taxes and prices, and a measure of alcohol availability. Overall, these alcohol control policies appear to have limited power to alter foster care entry rates and duration once in care. We find that higher alcohol taxes and prices are ...

Alcohol Control and Foster Care” (with Sara Markowitz, Alison Cuellar, and Ryan Conrad). Review of Economics of the Household, forthcoming

August 2006How Do Youth with Mental Disorders Fare in the Juvenile Justice System?
with Pinka Chatterji: w12437
The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between mental health problems and justice outcomes. Several studies have documented that individuals with a variety of mental disorders are overrepresented in the justice system. This pattern could result if persons with mental disorders are more likely to commit crimes, or more likely to commit serious crimes, than persons without disorders. In addition, individuals with mental disorders may be more likely than those without disorders to be sanctioned conditional on committing a particular crime. The major public policy concern is around the latter possibility, which has been interpreted as the justice system being biased against those with mental disorders. In this paper we explore several channels through which mental health...
May 2006Medicaid Policy Changes in Mental Health Care and Their Effect on Mental Health Outcomes
with Sara Markowitz: w12232
In recent years, Medicaid has experienced a dramatic increase in spending on prescription drugs in general and psychotropic medications in particular. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of increased Medicaid spending on psychotropic drugs on improving the mental health and well-being of participants at the population level. Specifically, we study the effect on outcomes that are strongly correlated with mood disorders, including depression, and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity disorder, controlling for concomitant increases in Medicaid eligibility thresholds and expansion into managed care for mental health services. Knowledge of the effects of changes in the Medicaid program is crucial to policymakers as they consider implementing and expanding mental health services. Our ...

Published: Cuellar, Alison Evans & Markowitz, Sara, 2007. "Medicaid policy changes in mental health care and their effect on mental health outcomes," Health Economics, Policy and Law, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(01), pages 23-49, January. citation courtesy of

September 2003The Relationships between Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment and Juvenile Crime
with Sara Markowitz, Anne M. Libby: w9952
The purpose of this paper is to examine the effectiveness of mental health and substance abuse treatment in reducing crimes committed by juveniles. The observed high correlations between crime, substance abuse and poor mental health suggests that factors which reduce substance abuse and improve mental health may also be effective in reducing criminal activities. This paper uses detention data in conjunction with substance abuse and mental health treatment data for youth enrolled in the Colorado state foster care program. We analyze the impact of treatment in delaying or preventing this group of at-risk youth from engaging in criminal behavior. Results show a negative effect, i.e., longer duration before detention, for youth who receive treatment and for youth in areas with high treatment r...

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