University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Researc
1000 Hilltop Circle
430 Public Policy
Baltimore, MD 21250
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|April 2011||Physical Activity: Economic and Policy Factors|
with Melayne M. McInnes
in Economic Aspects of Obesity, Michael Grossman and Naci H. Mocan, editors
|June 2009||Physical Activity: Economic and Policy Factors|
with Melayne M. McInnes: w15039
While much research has focused on the costs of obesity and economic factors that drive obesity growth, little economic research has examined the factors that contribute to obesity -- physical inactivity and poor nutrition. This paper will examine correlates and predictors of physical activity over time with emphasis on economic factors. We use data for adults from the 2000-2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey that includes state and county codes for each individual that allows us to add supplementary data on state beer and cigarette taxes, local transportation costs, availability of gyms and recreational facilities, county unemployment, crime rates, and prices of related goods. We find that income and education has a strong and consistently positive effect on ...
|June 2005||Firms' Demand for Employment-Based Mental Health Benefits|
with David Salkever: w11436
Employment-based health insurance is the main source of health coverage for the non-elderly. Few previous studies have examined the factors that impact employer decision-making in selecting the coverage to offer to their employees and none have examined generosity of mental health coverage. This paper uses cross-sectional data from a survey of medium to large firms, including information on employee characteristics, to examine the empirical determinants of mental health coverage choices. We find that the firm's demand for mental health coverage is strongly influenced by employee characteristics. We also find that certain state and local policy interventions directed at enhancing access to mental health care have impacts on coverage decisions. Specifically, public provision of mental hea...