Department of Economics
University of Kansas
335 Snow Hall
1460 Jayhawk Boulevard
Lawrence, KS 66045
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|September 2017||Medically Necessary but Forbidden: Reproductive Health Care in Catholic-owned Hospitals|
with Elaine L. Hill, Donna Ginther: w23768
The United States has recently seen a large increase in hospital mergers and acquisitions, and Catholic hospital systems have actively participated in this. As of 2016, 40% of the largest healthcare systems were faith-based, with 141 mergers between Catholic and non-Catholic systems since 1997. Mergers that affiliate a hospital with a Catholic owner, network, or system, are consequential because they reduce the set of possible medical procedures since Catholic hospitals are generally prohibited from providing procedures like tubal ligation. We examine the effect of changes in ownership from secular to Catholic (and vice versa) on reproductive health procedures that are likely to be affected. Using hospital-level variation in ownership status for 1002 hospitals, we estimate a difference-in...
|February 2017||Did Medicaid Expansion Reduce Medical Divorce?|
with Donna Ginther: w23139
Prior to the Affordable Care Act, many state Medicaid eligibility rules had maximum asset levels. This was a problem when one member of a couple was diagnosed with a degenerative disease requiring expensive care. Draining the couple’s assets so that the sick individual could qualify for Medicaid would leave no resources for the retirement of the other member; thus divorce and separating assets was often the only option. The ACA’s Medicaid expansion removed all asset tests. Using a difference-in-differences approach on states that did and did not expand Medicaid, we find that the expansion decreased the prevalence of divorce by 5.6% among those 50-64, strongly suggesting that it reduced medical divorce.
|October 2014||Second Trimester Sunlight and Asthma: Evidence from Two Independent Studies|
with Nils Wernerfelt, Richard Zeckhauser: w20599
One in twelve Americans suffers from asthma and its annual costs are estimated to exceed $50 billion. Simultaneously, the root causes of the disease remain unknown. A recent hypothesis speculates that maternal vitamin D levels during pregnancy affect the probability the fetus later develops asthma. In two large-scale studies, we test this hypothesis using a natural experiment afforded by historical variation in sunlight, a major source of vitamin D. Specifically, holding the birth location and month fixed, we see how exogenous within-location variation in sunlight across birth years affects the probability of asthma onset. We show that this measurement of sunlight correlates with actual exposure, and consistent with pre-existing results from the fetal development literature, we find substa...
Published: Nils Wernerfelt & David J. G. Slusky & Richard Zeckhauser, 2017. "Second Trimester Sunlight and Asthma: Evidence from Two Independent Studies," American Journal of Health Economics, vol 3(2), pages 227-253.