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Health shocks and their long-lasting impact on health behaviors: Evidence from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic in Mexico

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  • Agüero, Jorge M.
  • Beleche, Trinidad

Abstract

Worldwide, the leading causes of death could be avoided with health behaviors that are low-cost but also difficult to adopt. We show that exogenous health shocks could facilitate the adoption of these behaviors and provide long-lasting effects on health outcomes. Specifically, we exploit the spatial and temporal variation of the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic in Mexico and show that areas with a higher incidence of H1N1 experienced larger reductions in diarrhea-related cases among young children. These reductions continue even three years after the shock ended. Health improvements and evidence of information seeking via Google searches were consistent with changes in hand washing behaviors. Several robustness checks validate our findings and mechanism.

Suggested Citation

  • Agüero, Jorge M. & Beleche, Trinidad, 2017. "Health shocks and their long-lasting impact on health behaviors: Evidence from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic in Mexico," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 40-55.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:54:y:2017:i:c:p:40-55
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2017.03.008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    RePEc Biblio mentions

    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Consequences > Health and human capital
    2. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Specific pandemics > Swine Influenza (H1N1)

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    Cited by:

    1. Antoine Marsaudon & Lise Rochaix, 2017. "Impact of acute health shocks on cigarette consumption
      [Impact d'un choc de santé sur la consommation de cigarette]
      ," PSE Working Papers halshs-01626024, HAL.
    2. Jorge M. Agüero, 2019. "Information and Behavioral Responses with More than One Agent: The Case of Domestic Violence Awareness Campaigns," Working papers 2019-04, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    3. Rangel, Marcos & Nobles, Jenna & Hamoudi, Amar, 2019. "Brazil's Missing Infants: Zika Risk Changes Reproductive Behavior," SocArXiv fu8bp, Center for Open Science.
    4. Antoine Marsaudon & Lise Rochaix, 2010. "Impact of acute health shocks on cigarette consumption: A combined DiD-matching strategy to address endogeneity issues in the French Gazel panel data," PSE Working Papers halshs-01626187, HAL.
    5. Eiji Yamamura. & Yoshiro Tsutsui, 2020. "Impact of the State of Emergency Declaration for COVID-19 on Preventive Behaviors and Mental Conditions in Japan: Difference in Difference Analysis using Panel Data," Papers 2005.13008, arXiv.org.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health shocks; Health behaviors; Hand washing; Children; Diarrhea;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development

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