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Economics / Public Policy



Professor Mireille Jacobson
Title: “The Effect of Medicare on Medical Expenditure Risk and Financial Strain”
Co-authors:  Silvia Barcellos
Accepted at: American Economic Journal:  Economic Policy
March 2015

Authors of this study sought to estimate the current impact of Medicare on medical expenditure risk and financial strain. Through their research, the authors found, at age 65, out-of-pocket expenditures drop by 33 percent at the mean and 53 percent among the top 5 percent of spenders, and the fraction of the population with out-of-pocket medical expenditures above income drops by more than half. Medical-related financial strain, such as problems paying bills, is dramatically reduced. Using a stylized expected utility framework, the gain from reducing out-of-pocket expenditures alone accounts for 18 percent of the social costs of financing Medicare. This calculation ignores the benefits of reduced financial strain and direct health improvements due to Medicare.



Professor Kitt Carpenter
Title: “Public-Place Smoking Laws and Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS)”
Co-authors: Sabina Postolek, and Casey Warman
Accepted at: American Economic Journal- Economic Policy

February 2011

Public-place smoking restrictions are the most important non-price tobacco control measures worldwide, yet surprisingly little is known about their effects on exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).  We study these laws in Canada using data with questions about respondents’ ETS exposure in public and private places.  In fixed-effects models we find these laws had no effects on smoking but induced large and statistically significant reductions in public-place ETS exposure, especially in bars and restaurants.  We do not find significant evidence of ETS displacement to private homes.  Our results indicate wide latitude for health improvements from banning smoking in public places.



Professors Christopher Carpenter and Cornelia Pechmann
Title: "Exposure to ‘Above the Influence’ Anti-Drug Advertisements and Youth Marijuana Use in the US, 2006-2008."
Accepted at: American Journal of Public Health

November 2010

In this paper we build on previous research examining youth anti-drug media campaigns that has found conflicting or even perverse relationships between exposure to the anti-drug advertising and drug-related outcomes. We revisited these relationships using monthly advertising exposure (TRP) data for the ‘Above the Influence’ anti-drug media campaign for 210 media markets from the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and marijuana use data from the Monitoring the Future (MTF) study, for 2006-2008. We estimated multivariate logistic regression models of marijuana use for boys and girls in grades 8, 10, and 12, controlling for individual, family, and media market characteristics, and year and region fixed effects. For grade 8 girls, greater exposure to anti-drug advertisements was associated with lower rates of past month marijuana use (odds ratio [OR]=0.67; 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.52, 0.87) and lower rates of lifetime marijuana use (OR=0.76; 95% CI=0.62, 0.93), but not alcohol use rates (OR=1.00; 95% CI=0.84, 1.19). Associations were not significant for grade 8 boys or grades 10 or 12 girls or boys. We conclude that anti-drug advertising may be an effective way to prevent grade 8 girls from initiating marijuana use.



Professors Peter Navarro and Philip Bromiley
Title: “Business Cycle Management and Firm Performance: Tying the Empirical Knot”
Co-authors: Pedro Sottile
Accepted at: Journal of Strategy & Management

February 2010

Business cycles strongly influence corporate sales, profits, and cash flows yet management research largely ignores the possibility that business cycle management (BCM) influences performance.  This study offers the first empirical test of the association of firm performance with a comprehensive set of prescriptive BCM behaviors across a broad range of firm activities and a broad sample of firms and industries. The results provide strong preliminary support for claims in the prescriptive literature that business cycle-sensitive management behaviors help explain observed heterogeneities in firm performance.



Renee Rottner, PhD Student
Title:  “Innovation Policy and Nanotechnology Entrepreneurship”
Accepted at:  Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice           
Co-author(s): Jennifer L. Woolley (doctoral alumnus)
November 2008
In this article, we explore the relationship between innovation policy and new venture creation in the United States. Specifically, we examine two components of innovation policy in nanotechnology—science and technology (S&T) initiatives and economic initiatives—and their relationship with the founding of nanotechnology firms. We find strong support relating new firm formation to S&T and economic initiatives. States with both S&T and economic initiatives had six times as many firms founded than those states without such initiatives. We also find evidence of a first-mover advantage as states with the earliest innovation policies had higher rates of related firm foundings over time. These findings suggest that states that are most attractive to entrepreneurs not only pursue technological innovation and provide resources, but also encourage and legitimize commercial development. Implications for public policy makers and scholars are provided.