Job Market Paper:
Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs and the Abuse of Illicit Drugs
Abstract: In response to the epidemic of prescription-drug abuse, now 49 US states have passed legislation to establish Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs). These programs track controlled-substance prescribing and usage behavior in an effort to improve patient outcomes and identify and preempt access by drug abusers. I exploit variation in the timing of implementation across states to identify the effectiveness of PDMPs on reducing opioid abuse. In particular, by considering the role of specific program attributes I offer the strongest evidence to date of the potential for PDMP-type policy to decrease opioid-related treatment admissions. I also consider heterogeneity across intensity and tenure of use, which reveals that the largest gains are coming from reductions in the number of less-attached users. Overall, these results have important implications for the effective re-design of PDMP policy.
Do Men Matter to Female Competition Even When They Don't? (with Logan Lee and Glen Waddell)
(Earlier version: IZA Discussion Paper No. 10184)
Abstract: A large literature identifies factors that contribute to gender differences in performance and in the decision to compete. We exploit a highly competitive environment in which elite-female athletes are exposed to the presence of men without the element of direct competition, using variation in each year's fastest man to identify the potential influence of men on female performance while holding constant female runners' marginal incentive to perform. Our results suggest that the presence of men negatively affects the performance of female runners even in the absence of direct competition and differentially across ability, with negative performance effects being concentrated among lower-ability runners.
Gender Differences in Competitiveness: The Effect of Cheating on Opt-Out Behavior (with Glen Waddell)
Ph.D. Research Paper Award, University of Oregon, Department of Economics, 2016
Abstract: Experimental evidence has established that females are less likely to enter into competitive environments than men. Our research is the first to examine how the potential for cheating affects the individual's decision to enter competitive environments and how this effect differs by gender. We find evidence that the potential for dishonesty reduces the propensity for females to enter competitive environments, while having little effect on the competitiveness of men.
Prescription Drug Coverage and Preventative Health Behaviors: Evidence from Medicare Part D
Abstract: I consider the potential substitution effects between prescription drugs and individual choices and attitudes about preventative health care and risky health behaviors. Using the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) and the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), I exploit the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 which acted to provide prescription drug benefits to the Medicare program through the establishment of Part D. I find that there is little evidence in the reduced form parameter to suggest individuals change their attitudes or behavior around establishment of Part D. Additionally, I find no evidence of Part D having a mitigating effect on health care and behavioral decisions following a chronic or acute health shock. While previous literature suggests that the establishment of Part D increased prescription drug utilization and improved health and financial outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries, I find no evidence to suggest individuals substitute between preventative care measures and prescription drugs both generally or in response to a health shock
Work in Progress:
The Heroin Epidemic: Is There a Role for Supply-Side Restrictions on Prescription Drugs?
The Epidemic Rise of Opioid Use and Child Abuse? (with Glen Waddell)
Accidental Shootings and 2nd Amendment Fears (with Glen Waddell)
The Behavioral Implications of School-Induced Agglomeration