Maternal Employment and Childhood Obesity

A general result in the obesity literature, is that higher female labor participation rates lead to higher obesity rates in children. For instance, the 1996 Welfare Reform act (PRWORA) increased work requirements for low-income mothers and thus increased labor participation and likely childhood obesity. One question which has not been resolved yet thorough which mechanisms…

Don’t always believe your local economist

The N.Y. Times ran an interesting pair of articles Sunday regarding how economists “got it wrong.” Conflict of Interest Ben Stein (in “The Long and Short of It at Goldman Sachs“) comments on the economic analysis conducted by economist Jan Hatzius of Goldman Sachs. Dr. Hatzuis concludes that the sub-prime mortgage ‘crisis’ will not only…

Stark regrets creation of “Stark laws”

Forbes’ The Science Business blog has an interesting interview with Congressman Fortney “Peteâ€? Stark (D-Calif.).  Mr. Stark was the legislator responsible for the creation of the Stark laws banning self referrals by doctors to facilities in which they had an ownership interest.  For instance, the law means that “a doctor can’t refer a patient to…

How medical care was financed 2000 years ago

A paper by Alexander S. Preker and April Harding at the World Bank analyze the roles of the public and private sector in health care.  One of the more interesting portions discusses medical care financing using some examples from ancient history. “Ideological views on the roles of the state and the private sector belong to…