University of Colorado Denver
Department of Economics
1380 Lawrence Street
Denver, CO 80217
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|February 2017||Impact of Violent Crime on Risk Aversion: Evidence from the Mexican Drug War|
with Verónica Montalva, Duncan Thomas, Andrea Velásquez: w23181
Whereas attitudes towards risk are thought to play an important role in many decisions over the life-course, factors that affect those attitudes are not fully understood. Using longitudinal survey data collected in Mexico before and during the Mexican war on drugs, we investigate how an individual’s risk attitudes change with variation in levels of insecurity and uncertainty brought on by unprecedented changes in local-area violent crime due to the war on drugs. Exploiting the fact that the timing, virulence and spatial distribution of changes in violent crime were unanticipated, we establish the changes can plausibly be treated as exogenous in models that also take into account unobserved characteristics of individuals that are fixed over time. As local-area violent crime increases, there...
|July 2016||The Effect of Occupational Licensing on Consumer Welfare: Early Midwifery Laws and Maternal Mortality|
with D. Mark Anderson, Kerwin Kofi Charles, Daniel I. Rees: w22456
Occupational licensing is intended to protect consumers. Whether it does so is an important, but unanswered, question. Exploiting variation across states and municipalities in the timing and details of midwifery laws introduced during the period 1900-1940, and using a rich data set that we assembled from primary sources, we find that requiring midwives to be licensed reduced maternal mortality by 6 to 7 percent. In addition, we find that requiring midwives to be licensed may have had led to modest reductions in nonwhite infant mortality and mortality among children under the age of 2 from diarrhea. These estimates provide the first econometric evidence of which we are aware on the relationship between licensure and consumer safety, and are directly relevant to ongoing policy debates both i...