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Do Elections Make You Sick?

Author

Listed:
  • Hung-Hao Chang
  • Chad Meyerhoefer

Abstract

Anecdotal reports and small-scale studies suggest that elections are stressful, and might lead to a deterioration in voters’ mental well-being. Nonetheless, researchers have yet to establish whether elections actually make people sick, and if so, why. By applying a regression discontinuity design to administrative health care claims from Taiwan, we determine that elections increased health care use and expense only during legally specified campaign periods by as much as 19%. Overall, the treatment cost of illness caused by elections exceeded publicly reported levels of campaign expenditure, and accounted for 2% of total national health care costs during the campaign period.

Suggested Citation

  • Hung-Hao Chang & Chad Meyerhoefer, 2020. "Do Elections Make You Sick?," NBER Working Papers 26697, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26697
    Note: HC HE POL
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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