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Health Shocks and the Long-Lasting Change in Health Behaviors: Evidence from Mexico

Author

Listed:
  • Jorge M. Agüero

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Trinidad Beleche

    (RAND Corporation)

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 outbreak in Mexico and show that areas with a higher incidence of H1N1 experienced larger reductions in diarrhea-related cases. These reductions continue even three years after the shock ended. Changes in hand washing behaviors are behind these health improvements. Several robustness checks validate our findings and mechanism.

Suggested Citation

  • Jorge M. Agüero & Trinidad Beleche, 2016. "Health Shocks and the Long-Lasting Change in Health Behaviors: Evidence from Mexico," Working papers 2016-26, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2016-26
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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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