Department of Economics
Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building
Princeton, NJ 08544
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|March 2018||U.S. Employment and Opioids: Is There a Connection?|
with Janet Currie, Jonas Y. Jin: w24440
This paper uses quarterly county-level data to examine the relationship between opioid prescription rates and employment-to-population ratios from 2006–2014. We first estimate models of the effect of opioid prescription rates on employment-to-population ratios, instrumenting opioid prescriptions for younger ages using opioid prescriptions to the elderly. We also estimate models of the effect of employment-to-population ratios on opioid prescription rates using a shift-share instrument. We find that the estimated effect of opioids on employment-to-population ratios is positive but small for women, but there is no relationship for men. These findings suggest that although they are addictive and dangerous, opioids may allow some women to work who would otherwise leave the labor force. When we...
|August 2017||Addressing the Opioid Epidemic: Is There a Role for Physician Education?|
with Janet Currie: w23645
Using national data on opioid prescriptions written by physicians from 2006 to 2014, we uncover a striking relationship between opioid prescribing and medical school rank. Even within the same specialty and practice location, physicians who completed their initial training at top medical schools write significantly fewer opioid prescriptions annually than physicians from lower ranked schools. Additional evidence suggests that some of this gradient represents a causal effect of education rather than patient selection across physicians or physician selection across medical schools. Altering physician education may therefore be a useful policy tool in fighting the current epidemic.
|July 2017||Check Up Before You Check Out: Retail Clinics and Emergency Room Use|
with Diane Alexander, Janet Currie: w23585
Policies such as liberalizing scope-of-practice rules about nurse practitioners have helped to fuel the rise of retail clinics nationwide. Given concern about inefficient use of the ER increasing health care costs, we use all emergency room (ER) visits in New Jersey from 2006-2014 to examine the impact of retail clinics on ER usage. We find that people residing close to an open clinic are 4.1-12.3 percent less likely to use an ER for preventable conditions and minor acute conditions. Our estimates suggest an annual cost savings of over $70 million from reduced ER usage if retail clinics were readily available across New Jersey.
|April 2015||Is the Focus on Food Deserts Fruitless? Retail Access and Food Purchases Across the Socioeconomic Spectrum|
with Jessie Handbury, Ilya Rahkovsky: w21126
Using novel data describing the healthfulness of household food purchases and the retail landscapes consumers face, we measure the role of access in explaining why wealthier and more educated households purchase healthier foods. We find that spatial differences in access, though significant, are small relative to spatial differences in the nutritional content of sales. Socioeconomic disparities in nutritional consumption exist even among households with equivalent access, and the healthfulness of household consumption responds minimally to improvements in local retail environments. Our results indicate that access-improving policies alone will eliminate less than one third of existing socioeconomic disparities in nutritional consumption.