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Causal Effects of Health Shocks on Consumption and Debt: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Bus Accident Injuries

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  • Manoj Mohanan

Abstract

Endogeneity in the health-wealth relationship presents a challenge for estimating causal effects of health shocks. Using a quasi-experimental study design, comprising exogenous shocks sustained as bus accident injuries in India, with, "controls," drawn from travelers on the same bus routes one year later, I present new evidence of causal effects of health shocks on household consumption and debt. Using primary household survey data, I find that households faced with the health shock-related expenditures, which were on average equal to two months of household income, are able to smooth consumption on food, housing, and festivals, with small reductions in education spending. Debt was the principal mechanism used by households to mitigate effects of the shock, leading to significantly larger levels of indebtedness among the exposed.

Suggested Citation

  • Manoj Mohanan, 2011. "Causal Effects of Health Shocks on Consumption and Debt: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Bus Accident Injuries," Working Papers 11-15, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:duk:dukeec:11-15
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    Cited by:

    1. Ambrosius, Christian, 2012. "Are remittances a substitute for credit? Carrying the financial burden of health shocks in national and transnational households," Discussion Papers 2012/9, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    2. Ambrosius, Christian & Cuecuecha, Alfredo, 2013. "Are Remittances a Substitute for Credit? Carrying the Financial Burden of Health Shocks in National and Transnational Households," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 143-152.
    3. Belén Sáenz de Miera Juárez, 2017. "The role of public health insurance in protecting against the costs of ill health," WIDER Working Paper Series 003, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health Shocks; Causal Effects; Quasi-experimental; Health Expenditure; Consumption Smoothing; Debt; Road Traffic Accidents;

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General

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