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Economic Freedom, Race, and Health Disparities: Evidence from US States

Author

Listed:
  • Joshua C. Hall

    (West Virginia University, Department of Economics)

  • Brad R. Humphreys

    (West Virginia University, Department of Economics)

  • Jane E. Ruseski

    (West Virginia University, Department of Economics)

Abstract

The social determinants of health include the communities in which people reside. Associated with geographic areas are public policies that influence a variety of economic and social outcomes. The group of public policies associated with economic freedom have been found to be positively related to a number of economic and social outcomes. In this paper, we investigate the impact of economic freedom on self-reported health and racial health disparities. We use propensity score matching to construct a control group of whites who can be compared to blacks in the 2011 BRFSS. After accounting for confounding variables and possible selection, we find evidence that economic freedom is associated with lower levels of self reported health for the population overall. After allowing for the effects of economic freedom to differ by race, we find that higher levels of economic freedom mitigate the observed gap in health status.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua C. Hall & Brad R. Humphreys & Jane E. Ruseski, 2015. "Economic Freedom, Race, and Health Disparities: Evidence from US States," Working Papers 15-43, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
  • Handle: RePEc:wvu:wpaper:15-43
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    File URL: http://busecon.wvu.edu/phd_economics/pdf/15-43.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    economic freedom; health disparities;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • R5 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis

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