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Public Policy Evaluation Using Life-Cycle Models

Li, Yue (2014) Public Policy Evaluation Using Life-Cycle Models. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This work investigates how the provision of a variety of public policies affects individual life-cycle decisions. In Chapter 2, I examine the effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by considering a dynamic interaction between extending health insurance coverage and the demand for federal disability insurance. I argue that as the ACA provides insurance coverage to the uninsured, it improves this group's health and reduces their demand for federal disability insurance. In order to provide a quantitative assessment of this dynamic link, I extend the Bewley-Huggett-Aiyagari incomplete markets model by endogenizing health accumulation and disability decisions. Findings suggest that the ACA reduces the fraction of working-age people receiving disability benefits from 5.7 to 4.9 percent. Chapter 3 analyzes the effects of social security survivors benefits and argues that survival benefits provide insurance against the heterogeneity of mortality rates. Specifically, the provision of survivors benefits mitigates the inequality induced by within cohort mortality differences and the associated price variations in the private life insurance market. Further, survivors benefits also help insure the uncertainties of income shocks and life events. The risk spreading provided by survivors benefits, however, is funded via taxes that distort individual decisions. Counterfactual results from a dynamic model suggest that removing survivors benefits for dependent children and aged spouses generates an ex-ante utility change equivalent to a 0.3 percent decline and 0.8 percent increase of permanent consumption, respectively. In Chapter 4, considering that people choose both years of education and their area of specialization, I estimate the impacts of technological progress and immigration on educational choices of native-born Americans. Results derived from a general equilibrium model suggest that these two changes lead to opposite effects on educational choices. In particular, the influx of immigrants reduces natives' incentives to complete college degrees and major in natural sciences and engineering fields.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairCoen-Pirani, Danielecoen@pitt.eduCOEN
Committee CoChairRipoll, Marlaripoll@pitt.eduRIPOLL
Committee MemberAles,
Committee MemberDuffy, Johnjduffy@pitt.eduJDUFFY
Committee MemberHur, Sewonsewonhur@pitt.eduSEWONHUR
Date: 29 May 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 2 April 2014
Approval Date: 29 May 2014
Submission Date: 11 April 2014
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 88
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Economics
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Health Care, Social Security, Immigration
Date Deposited: 29 May 2014 17:19
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:19


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