Identifying the Effects of Food Stamps on the Nutritional Health of Children when Program participation is Misreported

Authors: John Pepper, Craig Gundersen, Dean Jolliffe, Brent Kreider

The literature assessing the efficacy of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, has long puzzled over positive associations between SNAP receipt and various undesirable health outcomes such as food insecurity. Assessing the causal impacts of SNAP, however, is hampered by two key identification problems: endogenous selection into participation and extensive systematic underreporting of participation status.Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), we extend partial identification bounding methods to account for these two identification problems in a single unifying framework.

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Doctor Knows Best: Physician Endorsements, Public Opinion, and the Politics of Comparative Effectiveness Research

Authors: Eric M. Patashnik, Alan S. Gerber, David Doherty, Conor M. Dowling

The Obama administration has made a major investment in comparative effectiveness research (CER) to learn what treatments work best for which patients. CER has the potential to reduce wasteful medical spending and improve patient outcomes, but the political sustainability of this initiative remains unclear due to concerns that it will threaten the doctor-patient relationship. 

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Nurses’ Presenteeism and Its Effects on Self-Reported Quality of Care and Costs

Authors: Christopher J. Ruhm, Susan A. Letvak, Sat N. Gupta

Although research has been conducted on how nurse staffing levels affect outcomes, there has been little investigation into how the health-related productivity of nurses is related to quality of care. Two major causes of worker presenteeism (reduced on-the-job productivity as a result of health problems) are musculoskeletal pain and mental health issues, particularly depression. 

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Interventions Used by Virginia's Colleges to Respond to Student Mental Health Crises

Authors: Richard Bonnie, John Monahan, Susan Davis, Christopher Flynn

Objective:

This study examined interventions by colleges in 2008–2009 to respond to students during mental health crises.

Methods:

Public (N=15) and private (N=25) four-year colleges and two-year community colleges (N=23) in Virginia were surveyed about academic policies governing responses to apparent mental health crises among students and how often they were invoked.

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Breaking Gridlock: The Determinants of Health Policy Change in Congress

Authors: Craig Volden, Alan E. Wiseman

Scholars have often commented that health policymaking in Congress is mired in political gridlock, that reforms are far more likely to fail than to succeed, and the path forward is unclear. To reach such conclusions, scholars of health politics have tended to analyze individual major reform proposals to determine why they succeeded or failed and what lessons could be drawn for the future. 

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