Projects in theme: Persistent Disparities In Health And Human Capital

Amalia's Tale and Unequal Access to Health Care

Kertzer’s recent book Amalia’s Tale, which documents the experience of an 19th-century Italian peasant who contracts syphilis while serving as a wet nurse, comes from a very different setting and methodological tradition, but its themes of unequal access to health care and the response of the legal system clearly resonate with the theme of persistent disparities in health and human capital.

Bank Deregulation and the Racial Wage Gap

Rubinstein examines the effects of bank deregulation on black-white wage differentials. As would be predicted by a model in which discriminating employers pay a cost in terms of profitability because they only hire white workers, he finds that bank deregulation increased business startups and reduced the racial wage gap.

Children's Health Disparities in the U.S. and U.K.: The Role of the Family

This study uses longitudinal data from the U.S. and the U.K. to examine social disparities in children’s health in the two countries, with a focus on early and middle childhood.  Of particular interest are how health patterns among children with migration backgrounds change over time; how any changes are related to changing family environments; and whether there are meaningful cross-national differences in these relationships.  In related work, Jackson examines U.S.

Commitment Devices in Long-Term Relationships

In this project, Aizer and Dal Bó find that policies that compel prosecution even if the victim later wishes to drop charges result in an increase in reporting and a decrease in the number of men murdered by intimates. These surprising results are shown to be implications of a model in which victims have time-inconsistent preferences.

Consequences of Segregation and Health Outcomes in the American South

Chay is engaged in research that empirically investigates the consequences of segregation (and desegregation) in the American South for health outcomes and human capital formation. He finds that the 1946 Hospital Act that led to new hospitals for whites improved health among whites only. The introduction of the Civil Rights Act, which helped provide access to hospitals for blacks, led to substantial relative reductions in black infant mortality.

Diabetes Care in American Samoa

 McGarvey leds an interdisciplinary  behavioral intervention clinical trial to improve type 2 diabetes patient outcomes by expanding community health worker outreach. The community health workers will expand the dietary and physical activity education of patients and their families; provide reminders and active follow-up for clinic appointments.

Evaluating the Effects of Large-Scale Health Interventions in Developing Countries: The Zambian Malaria Initiative

In a separate research project, Weil and his co-authors study the Zambian Malaria Initiative. Combining data from a number of sources, they examine the speed and geographic pattern of the decline in malaria mortality and morbidity, and assess the effectiveness of different health interventions, such as bed nets and indoor spraying.

Gender Inequality in China

PSTC researcher Short joins Juhua Yang of People’s University in Beijing to examine patterns of housework among husbands and wives in China over the period 1989 to 2006.  They find that as of 2006, Chinese wives on average do five times more housework than their husbands, a gender difference that is little changed since 1989.  This study suggests that highly asymmetric housework arrangements can be maintained in settings with high female labor force participation.

Genome-Wide Association Studies of Adiposity in Samoans

McGarvey examines the role of genetic variation in influencing the extent of obesity in Samoa. In-depth dietary, physical activity, socio-demographic and village environmental information is collected from more than 3,000 adult Samoans residing throughout the developing country of Samoa. Genome scan methods will be used to identify across the whole genome susceptibility loci for obesity in this population.

Global Health Framework at Brown University

This education grant will increase training and research opportunities in global health for Brown University students and faculty.