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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.
Date19 April 2016
CreatorsTello-Trillo, Daniel Sebastian
ContributorsChristopher Carpenter, Andrea Moro, John Graves, Andrew Dustan, William Collins
Source SetsVanderbilt University Theses
Detected LanguageEnglish
Rightsunrestricted, I hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dissertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to Vanderbilt University or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report.

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