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Title page for ETD etd-04182016-122154

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Tello-Trillo, Daniel Sebastian
Author's Email Address daniel.s.tello@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-04182016-122154
Title Essays on health economics and health behaviors
Degree PhD
Department Economics
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Christopher Carpenter Committee Chair
Andrea Moro Committee Member
Andrew Dustan Committee Member
John Graves Committee Member
William Collins Committee Member
  • tenncare
  • health behaviors
  • health economics
  • tort reform
  • obesity
Date of Defense 2016-04-15
Availability unrestricted
At least half of personal health spending in the U.S. is related to behavior, lifestyle or other avoidable causes. This dissertation contributes to a recent growing literature which aims to understand what affects health behaviors, and how changes in health behaviors can affect health status and economic outcomes. In the first chapter I study a reform that occurred in Tennessee in which the state disenrolled 170,000 individuals from the Medicaid program. I find evidence that this reform decreased risky health behaviors and deteriorate health outcomes among the low educated. The second chapter analysis a policy that prohibits individuals from suing food service business for any weight-related lawsuit. I find evidence that even though this policy did affect people's intentions to lose weight, these intentions didn't translate into changes of their weight status. Finally, in the third chapter I link how a specific health behavior (obesity) can affect an economic outcomes: wages. I find that white females have a wage penalty for being obese. These three chapters provide evidence that health behaviors are affected by policies from different levels of government, and that in turn these effects can have health and economic implications.
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