Time Preferences and Consumer Behavior

Authors: Christopher J. Ruhm, David Bradford, Charles Courtemanche, Garth Heutel, Patrick McAlvanah

We investigate the predictive power of survey-elicited time preferences. The discount factor elicited from choice experiments using real payments predicts various health, energy, and financial outcomes, including overall self-reported health, smoking, installing energy-efficient lighting, and credit card balance. 

Learn more

Macroeconomic Conditions and Opioid Abuse

Authors: Christopher J. Ruhm, Alex Hollingsworth, Kosali Simon

We examine how deaths and emergency department (ED) visits related to use of opioid analgesics (opioids) and other drugs vary with macroeconomic conditions. As the county unemployment rate increases by one percentage point, the opioid death rate per 100,000 rises by 0.19 (3.6%) and the opioid overdose ED visit rate per 100,000 increases by 0.95 (7.0%).

Learn more

Health Effects of Economic Crises

This analysis summarizes prior research and uses national, US state and county‐level data from 1976 to 2013 to examine whether the mortality effects of economic crises differ in kind from those of the more typical fluctuations. The tentative conclusion is that economic crises affect mortality rates (and presumably other measures of health) in the same way as less severe downturns – leading to improvements in physical health.

Learn more