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In this paper we explore the latent individual-level heterogeneity in the intertemporal persistence of health outcomes. Understanding the heterogeneity in people’s responsiveness to health-related shocks is important, because it has implications for the design of efficient and equitable health interventions. Moreover, parameters in dynamic health models will be inconsistently estimated if heterogeneity in persistence is ignored. We assess these issues using a monthly longitudinal study from Singapore that includes health outcomes in over 50 waves. We have three main findings. First, there is substantial individual heterogeneity in the persistence of self-assessed health, health care use, out-of-pocket health care expenditures, and smoking. Second, this heterogeneity  drastically biases standard random effects and fixed effects estimators, including those that correct for Nickell bias. Third, the magnitude of persistence in self-assessed
health has a strong economic gradient: health shocks last significantly longer for people with less education and lower income. Prof David Johnston is employed in the Centre for Health Economics at Monash University. His broad research interests are in health economics, labour economics, and microeconometrics; but he has a particular interest in the economics of mental health and wellbeing, and the economic impacts of people's environment. Current research projects include exploring the impacts of natural disasters, the relationship between job insecurity and mental health, and socioeconomic inequities in mental healthcare use

Who: Dr David Johnson, Monash University
When: Wednesday 11th March- 12pm
Where: University of Technology Sydney CB05D.02.20
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