Essays in Health Economics

  • Author / Creator
    Razavilar, Negar
  • The Effect of Leisure Time Physical Activity on Labour Market Earnings: Evidence from the Canadian National Population Health Survey Using 6 cycles of data from the Canadian National Population Health Survey I estimate the effect of leisure time physical activity on labour market earnings among working age adults. The longitudinal nature of the data allows for measuring time spent on leisure time physical activity at different points in time thus capturing changes in the amount of time spent on physical activity and its impact on future labour market outcomes. Estimates for the male subsample indicate that increased lagged participation in daily leisure time physical activity has a positive and significant impact on both hourly wages and annual income. These estimates are robust to a variety of panel data estimation techniques, including dynamic panel data estimation methods, and to the inclusion of additional explanatory variables controlling for Body Mass Index (BMI) and self-rated health status. However, increased participation in leisure time physical activity does not have a significant impact on either hourly wages or annual income among women. The Causal Effect of Unemployment on Smoking: Evidence from the Canadian Community Health Survey In this study I estimate the causal effect of individual unemployment on individual smoking behaviors using data from one cycle (year 2012) of the Canadian Community Health Survey. Two separate instrumental variables (IV) approaches (Two-Stage Residual Inclusion (2SRI) and Two-Stage Predictor Substitution (2SPS)) using provincial level unemployment rates by age cohort as the instrumental variable are used to identify causal effects. IV estimates from two-part models, using a probit model for smoking status and a negative binomial model for smoking intensity, indicate that individual unemployment status does not have a significant impact on the probability of being a smoker but has a negative and significant impact on the number of cigarettes smoked per day conditional on being a smoker. The IV estimates are robust but sensitive to the type of the IV approach used. Decomposition of the Income Gap in Body Mass Index (BMI) in Canada The aim of this study is to examine the demographic, socio-economic, and behavioral variables explaining the income gap in Body Mass Index (BMI) among Canadian adults using one cycle (year 2012) of the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS). Two different grouping strategies; 1) low-income cut-offs in year 2012 from Statistics Canada, and 2) the top and bottom three income deciles from the CCHS are used for defining the high- and low-income groups. Using the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition method I decompose the difference in mean BMI among the high- and low-income male and female into a part explained by differences in the observed characteristics between the two groups, and a share attributable to the differences in the returns to those characteristics between the two groups. It follows that high-income men have higher average BMIs than low-income men, while the opposite is observed among women. In the male sample, the highest contributions to the explained gap belong to employment status and being single (as opposed to being married) which both contribute to the low-income having lower mean BMIs than the high-income. Among women, the highest contribution to the explained gap belongs to average daily energy expenditure which contributes to the low-income women having higher mean BMIs than the high-income women.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2016-06:Fall 2016
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Economics
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • McCabe, Christopher (Economics)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Klumpp, Tilman (Economics)
    • Su, Xuejuan (Economics)
    • Zhou, Li (Economics)
    • Tubeuf, Sandy (Leeds Institute of Health Sciences)
    • Andersen, Dana (Economics)