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Essays on the Environmental and Behavioral Determinants of Health Outcomes

Hyde, Kelly (2022) Essays on the Environmental and Behavioral Determinants of Health Outcomes. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation consists of three essays on environmental, behavioral, and health economics. Chapter 1 presents an experimental study of how individuals use group-labeled disaggregated information to form subjective beliefs about their own prospects under uncertainty. This study finds consistent evidence of a "category specificity heuristic": individuals assume that information about others who share observable characteristics with them, such as gender, age, race, or educational attainment, is more informative than information about others who do not, even in cases where there is no plausible causal relationship between group membership and outcomes. Implications for individuals' beliefs about health risks are discussed. Chapter 2 presents an observational study of the relationship between potable water availability and heat-related mortality in South Africa which demonstrates that increased potable water supply is an effective community-level adaptation to excess heat. The findings of this study suggest that investments to increase the reliability and accessibility of potable water, especially in developing contexts, may ameliorate the long-run mortality consequences of climate change. Chapter 3 presents a study which establishes a causal link between water quality violations and food insecurity in the United States. This study finds that during an active water quality violation in their county of residence, the nutritional content of lower-income households' grocery store purchases differentially declines relative to wealthier households in the same county, with effect sizes that increase with the duration of the violation.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Hyde, Kellykdh50@pitt.edukdh500000-0001-8929-6343
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairGiuntella, Giovanniosea.giuntella@pitt.edu0000-0002-8690-980X
Committee CoChairHuffman, Davidhuffmand@pitt.edu0000-0002-4714-5560
Committee MemberWalsh,
Committee MemberClay, Karenkclay@andrew.cmu.edu0000-0003-3978-6656
Committee MemberLa Nauze,
Date: 6 June 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 24 March 2022
Approval Date: 6 June 2022
Submission Date: 25 March 2022
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 178
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: environmental economics, health economics, behavioral economics, experimental economics
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2022 15:56
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2022 15:56


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