Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Three Essays in Program Evaluation
by Lee, Jungtaek, Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2015, 141; 3716467
Abstract (Summary)

I evaluate a wider range of public policies with program evaluation methods, difference-in-difference regression method and regression discontinuity design. The first chapter considers the causal relationship between the expansion on dependent coverage of the Affordable Care Act and risky behaviors including smoking and drinking. I also examine the effect of coverage on preventive care and health care utilization. To overcome the endogeneity problem, I exploit a regression discontinuity design to estimate the causal effect of losing health insurance. I find that young adults those who turned 26 are 8 to 10 percent more likely to lose health insurance than young adults under the age of 26. Despite the fact that young adults over age 26 are likely aged out of insurance coverage than young adults under age 26, young adults do not change their preventive care or health care utilization as well as their smoking and drinking behaviors around age 26. However, young adults turning 26 are less likely to see mental health professionals more than those who are under age 26.

The second chapter identifies the impact of the legalization of Sunday alcohol sales on several different types of criminal activity by exploiting difference-in-differences type models. Furthermore, I use triple differences regression model to estimate the impact of the repeal of the ban on crimes by adding another variation in the implementation of this policy across days of week. I conclude that alcohol consumption has a larger impact on violent crimes than property crimes and alcohol regulation policy might be a good policy tool to reduce violent crimes.

The third chapter considers a number of externalities related to medical marijuana laws (MML), such as hard drug use, non-drug related crime, and alcohol related crime. To examine externalities related to medical marijuana laws, I begin by investigating empirically whether or not MML affects illegal or recreational marijuana use. I find that the implementation of medical marijuana laws leads to increased illegal marijuana possession arrests, but externalities related to medical marijuana laws, such as consumption of hard drugs or the incidence of non-drug related crimes, are very limited.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Yoruk, Baris K.
Commitee: Chatterji, Pinka, Park, Byoung Gun
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: Economics
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 76/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Economics, Public policy
Keywords: Program evaluation
Publication Number: 3716467
ISBN: 978-1-321-95349-7
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