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

Listed author(s):
  • Jorge M. Agüero

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Trinidad Beleche

    (RAND Corporation)

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.

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File URL: http://web2.uconn.edu/economics/working/2016-26.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2016-26.

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Length: 57 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2016
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2016-26
Contact details of provider: Postal:
University of Connecticut 365 Fairfield Way, Unit 1063 Storrs, CT 06269-1063

Phone: (860) 486-4889
Fax: (860) 486-4463
Web page: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/

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