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The Economic Value of Teeth

Author

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  • Sherry Glied
  • Matthew Neidell

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of oral health on labor market outcomes by exploiting variation in fluoridated water exposure during childhood. The politics surrounding the adoption of water fluoridation by local governments suggests exposure to fluoride is exogenous to other factors affecting earnings. Exposure to fluoridated water increases women’s earnings by approximately 4 percent, but has no detectable effect for men. Furthermore, the effect is largely concentrated amongst women from families of low socioeconomic status. We find little evidence to support occupational sorting, statistical discrimination, and productivity as potential channels, with some evidence supporting consumer and possibly employer discrimination.

Suggested Citation

  • Sherry Glied & Matthew Neidell, 2010. "The Economic Value of Teeth," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(2).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:45:y:2010:i2:p468-496
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    File URL: http://jhr.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/45/2/468
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
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    Cited by:

    1. Nakamura, Sayaka, 2014. "Parental income and child health in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 42-55.
    2. Singhal, Sonica & Correa, Rejane & Quiñonez, Carlos, 2013. "The impact of dental treatment on employment outcomes: A systematic review," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 88-96.
    3. Altmann, Steffen & Traxler, Christian, 2014. "Nudges at the dentist," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 19-38.
    4. Aggeborn, Linuz & Öhman, Mattias, 2017. "The Effects of Fluoride in the Drinking Water," Working Paper Series 2017:20, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    5. Cynthia Miller & James Riccio & Nandita Verma & Stephen Nuñez & Nadine Dechausay & Edith Yang, 2015. "Testing a conditional cash transfer program in the U.S.: the effects of the family rewards program in New York City," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-29, December.
    6. Wing, Coady & Marier, Allison, 2014. "Effects of occupational regulations on the cost of dental services: Evidence from dental insurance claims," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 131-143.
    7. Lazuka, Volha, 2017. "The lasting health and income effects of public health formation in Sweden," Lund Papers in Economic History 153, Lund University, Department of Economic History.
    8. Choi, Moonkyung Kate, 2011. "The impact of Medicaid insurance coverage on dental service use," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1020-1031.
    9. Tanya Wanchek & Terance J. Rephann & William Shobe, 2011. "Oral Health and the Dental Care Workforce in Southwest Virginia," Reports 2011-03, Center for Economic and Policy Studies.
    10. Hilary Hoynes & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach & Douglas Almond, 2016. "Long-Run Impacts of Childhood Access to the Safety Net," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(4), pages 903-934, April.
    11. Andrea Repetto & Francisco Gallego & Cristian Larroulet & Leonor Palomer, 2016. "Unequal Access and Socioeconomic Gradients in Perceived Oral Health: Evidence from an Emerging Country," Working Papers wp_050, Adolfo Ibáñez University, School of Government.
    12. Decker, Sandra L. & Lipton, Brandy J., 2015. "Do Medicaid benefit expansions have teeth? The effect of Medicaid adult dental coverage on the use of dental services and oral health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 212-225.

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