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Factors Affecting Spatial Differences in Health Outcomes


  • Poku-Agyemang, Kwadwo
  • Fannin, J. Matthew


This study sought to understand the disparities between non-core/micropolitan communities and metropolitan communities on life expectancy. The study also assessed the impact of individual behavioral choices and certain social variables and state and county level policies that affect the life expectancy in a county. A descriptive comparison analysis was employed to establish the differences in life expectancy across the various levels of the urban hierarchy in 1559 counties in the United States. An ordinary least squares model was used to tease out the relationship between specific individual choice factors -- smoking habits, obesity and exercise habits -- and several socio-economic variables on life expectancy. This study also estimated the effects of each correlate at the various levels of the urban hierarchy. The study concluded that the effects of both individual choice factors differed greatly across the various levels of rurality but less differences existed between the functional relationships of socioeconomic characteristics and life expectancy across the urban hierarchy.

Suggested Citation

  • Poku-Agyemang, Kwadwo & Fannin, J. Matthew, 2018. "Factors Affecting Spatial Differences in Health Outcomes," 2018 Annual Meeting, February 2-6, 2018, Jacksonville, Florida 266617, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:saea18:266617
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.266617

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    Community/Rural/Urban Development; Health Economics and Policy;

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