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Essays on Labor and Health Economics

Avery, Mallory (2020) Essays on Labor and Health Economics. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation consists of three essays on labor and health economics. Chapter 1 presents work from an experimental study the effect of affirmative action on beneficiaries’, particularly women’s, career progression. This study presents the first evidence that women face a cost in terms of future employment outcomes when successful in an environment with affirmative action, compared to one without affirmative action. In this particular case, this cost comes as a removal of a hiring advantage successful women have over successful men in environments without affirmative action. Chapter 2 presents work from an experimental study on the behavioral biases impacting sleep choice and the effect of incentives to sleep on sleep behavior. In this study, we use fitness trackers to monitor sleep of subjects who either have no incentives, or who are incentivized to sleep 7-9 hours per night and go to bed by between 10 pm and 1 am. We find that sophisticated hyperbolic discounting, self-serving bias and overconfidence, and risk aversion are important behavioral determinants of sleep behavior. We also find that incentives to sleep are effective in improving sleep choice, with some habit formation after the incentives are removed. Chapter 3 presents work from a study that examines the effect of community care, via the Community Mental Health Act of 1963 and the establishment of Community Mental Health Centers, on mental-illness-related mortality. We find substantial decreases in mortality from such causes of death among those demographic groups at most risk from those particular causes of death and among those with the fewest alternative sources of mental health care when a Community Mental Health Center is places within a county. We argue that these decreases in mortality are a caused by the Community Mental Health Centers.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Avery, Mallorymla49@pitt.edumla49
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairHuffman,
Committee MemberVesterlund,
Committee MemberGiuntella,
Committee MemberLinardi,
Date: 16 September 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 28 April 2020
Approval Date: 16 September 2020
Submission Date: 4 May 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 187
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: Economics, Labor, Health
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2020 13:25
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2020 13:25


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