Brown Bag Seminar Series/Alumni Corner

Fall 2022

Wednesday, October 5, 2022 at 2:00 pm ET

Waldo Beausejour*

Canada Health Infoway

"Uncovering Important Drivers of the Increase in the Use of Virtual Care Technologies in Nursing Care: Quantitative Analysis From the 2020 National Survey of Canadian Nurses" (joint with Simon Hagens)

Abstract: This study seeks to uncover the professional characteristics of Canadian nurses accessing virtual care in 2020, understand how these characteristics differ across types of technologies, investigate whether the nurses accessing virtual care possess the skills and knowledge needed to use these technologies, and determine the important drivers of the uptake of virtual care observed in 2020. We used data from the 2017 and 2020 National Survey of Canadian Nurses. This survey collected data on the use of digital health technologies in nursing practice. It concerned regulated nursing professionals working in different health care settings and from different domains of nursing practice. We combined the chi-square independence test and logistic regression analysis to uncover the most relevant drivers of virtual care uptake by nurses in 2020.

*Alumni Corner event

Registration is in the following link: Zoom


Wednesday, November 2, 2022 at 2:00 pm ET in PH317

Shooshan Danagoulian, Ph.D.

Wayne State University

"Insured in the Emergency Department:  Does Improved Insurance Coverage Close Disparities in Care for Black and Hispanic Patients?"

Though increasing health insurance coverage in the past decade has significantly improved access to care for Black and Hispanic populations, it is unclear whether these have translated into reduced gaps in quality of care.  Focusing on the Emergency Department (ED), this paper evaluates procedures and costs for Black and Hispanic patients in select rural hospitals in Maryland throughout the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance expansion.  Using comprehensive data on ED discharges 2012-2019, we evaluate the interaction between rising community level insurance coverage and care delivered to Black and Hispanic relative to non-Hispanic White patients. When looking at all patients, we find no effect of expanding insurance coverage on the total number of procedures performed, though we do find a decline in total charges per visit.  We find no differential impact for Black and Hispanic patients. Given the specific hospital setting, we interpret this result as indicative that patients are receiving appropriate care in an appropriate setting. Despite no difference in charges by race, we do find substantial differences in quality of care quantified in two specific setting:  imaging and diagnosis of self-harm.  Though both Black and Hispanic patients are ex-ante less likely than Whites to receive MRIs, CT scans, ultrasounds, and x-rays, expanding health insurance closes that gap for Hispanics, but widens it for Blacks.  For each 1 percentage point (pp) increase in county-level health insurance coverage,  Hispanic patients were 0.04 pp more likely to receive MRIs, 0.13pp more likely to receive ultrasounds, while Black patients were 0.14pp less likely to receive CT scans, and 0.07pp less likely to receive ultrasounds.  While Hispanic and Black patients were less likely to present with a diagnosis of self-harm prior to insurance expansion, with 1 pp increase in insurance coverage increased this likelihood by 0.03pp for Black and 0.03pp for Hispanic patients.  At the same time, however, we find no disproportionate increase in suicides among these minorities over this period of time, suggesting that increased insurance has a protective effect on mental health. These results show that expanding insurance coverage did not close gaps in care for Black patients among many dimensions, but narrowed it for Hispanic patients.  Policies aiming towards improving care through insurance expansion may have differential effect on quality of care for Black and Hispanic patients.


Wednesday, December 7, 2022 at 2:00 pm in PH217

Jenni Putz, Ph.D.

Eastern Michigan University

"Reading Resources and Student Achievement: Evidence from the Michigan Culture of Reading Program"

Abstract: This paper considers the effect of additional reading resources on third-grade student achievement by exploiting a quasi-experimental setting. In 2014, the Michigan Department of Education Culture of Reading campaign gave over 3,000 copies of a storybook, along with reading instructions, to children in 115 elementary schools and early childhood programs. I use student-level data to identify the effect of additional reading resources on third-grade English language arts (ELA) test scores. I find significant, positive effects of additional reading resources on student achievement for students who received books when they were in an early childhood program.   



Winter 2022

Tuesday March 15, 2022 at noon 

John Voorheis, Ph.D.*

U.S. Census Bureau

"Air Pollution and Economic Opportunity in the United States" (joint with Jonathan Colmer and Brennan Williams)

Abstract: Neighborhoods are an important determinant of economic opportunity in the United States. Less clear is how neighborhoods affect economic opportunity. Here we provide early evidence on the importance of environmental quality in shaping economic opportunity. Combining 36 years of satellite derived PM2.5 concentrations measured over roughly 8.6 million grid cells with individual-level administrative data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau and Internal Revenue Service (IRS), we first document a new fact: early-life exposure to particulate matter is one of the top five predictors of upward mobility in the United States. Next, using regulation-induced reductions in prenatal pollution exposure following the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, we estimate significant increases in adult earnings and upward mobility. Combined with new individual-level measures of pollution disparities at birth, our estimates can account for up to 20 percent of Black-White earnings gaps, and 25 percent of the Black-White gap in upward mobility estimated in Chetty et al (2018). Combining our estimates with experiment-induced reductions in pollution exposure from the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) experiment, we can account for 15 percent of the total neighborhood earnings effect estimated in Chetty, Hendren and Katz (2016). Collectively, these findings suggest that environmental injustice may play a meaningful role in explaining observed patterns of racial economic disparities, income inequality and economic opportunity in the United States.

*Alumni Corner event

Registration is in the following link: Zoom


Tuesday April 5, 2022 at noon 

Erkmen Giray Aslim, Ph.D.

Grand Valley State University

"State Vaccination Policies, Delayed Care, and Health Expenditures" (joint with Wei Fu, Chia-Lun Liu)


More than one-third of individuals delayed or skipped care for any medical condition due to concerns about virus exposure during the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. This is a worrisome development from a public health perspective because delay in medical care or avoidance might increase morbidity and mortality risk associated with treatable and preventable health conditions and might contribute to reported excess deaths directly or indirectly related to the pandemic. The ramifications of delayed care are more pronounced for children as such behavior can spillover to outcomes other than health, including educational and criminal outcomes. In this regard, the development and the accelerated approval of COVID-19 vaccines could mitigate concerns about exposure to coronavirus, which, in turn, might have reduced tendencies to delay or put off care. In this study, we use data from the Household Pulse Survey to evaluate the causal e ect of COVID-19 vaccination on the likelihood of delaying care for any medical condition as well as conditions other than COVID-19. Our research design exploits the arguably exogenous variation in age-specific vaccine eligibility rollout across states and over time as an instrument for vaccination status. We find that receiving a COVID-19 vaccine reduces the likelihood of delaying medical care by 18 percent. We do not find any evidence of (positive) spillovers to children in the household, suggesting that parents’ vaccination is necessary, but not sufficient to ease concerns to delay or avoid care for their children. We present evidence that vaccination affects healthcare seeking behavior by reducing concerns about getting or spreading COVID-19. In supplementary analysis, we use novel data on credit card spending to demonstrate that increased vaccine uptake has a positive, but statistically insignificant e  ect on consumer healthcare spending in the short run. Our findings have important policy implications by highlighting that vaccines have the effect of not only protect against coronavirus, but also safeguard against the worsening of health due to delayed care. More broadly, our findings are also important in terms of demonstrating that medical innovations might in general improve public health by influencing people’s assessment of risk during a pandemic.


Registration is in the following link: Zoom


Fall 2021 

Tuesday October 5, 2021 at noon 

Thomas Stockwell, Ph.D.*

Assistant Professor, University of Tampa

"Accommodative Monetary Policy Shocks Do Not Increase Output"

Abstract: This paper investigates whether the response of U.S. output to a monetary policy shock is symmetric over three dimensions: the direction of the shock, the size of the shock, and what phase the business cycle is in when the shock takes place. Theory suggests that looking at individual asymmetries may not tell the whole story and that interactions among the asymmetries may be important. My results show that business cycle and directional asymmetry are important while the size of the shock is less so. In addition, the directional asymmetry results suggest a striking conclusion: stimulative monetary policy shocks taken during recessions have little effect on output. Models that do not incorporate directional asymmetry are likely to miss this result. This calls into question the ability of traditional monetary policy to combat recessions.

*Alumni Corner event

Registration is in the following link: Zoom

Tuesday November 2, 2021 at Noon

Timothy R. Hodge, Ph.D.*

Associate Professor, Oakland University

"When a "Social Contract" is in Crisis: Lessons from Detroit's Property Tax"

Detroit’s recent financial woes were no secret. Michigan’s governor appointed an emergency financial manager for Detroit in 2013 and the City filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in the nation’s history shortly thereafter. Although a combination of factors were responsible for Detroit’s economic decline, issues surrounding the property tax played a prominent role. In this talk I discuss the major issues surrounding Detroit’s property tax that contributed to a breakdown in the “social contract” between the City and its residents, the efforts made by the City to realign this contract, and the response of residents. These are important lessons for Detroit to remember as the City continues to struggle with property tax collection and public service provision.

* CAS Detroit Theme Year event

Registration is in the following link: Zoom

Tuesday December 7, 2021 at Noon 

Dr. Sandra Orozco-Aleman

Associate Professor,  Mississippi State University

“Illegal Immigration: The Trump Effect.”

Recent years have witnessed the emergence of increasingly provocative anti-immigrant politicians in both Europe and the United States. We examine whether the 2016 election of Donald Trump, who made illegal immigration and border enforcement a centerpiece of his campaign, reduced illegal immigration into the U.S. We exploit the fact the election result was widely unexpected and thus generated a large, overnight change in expected immigration policy and rhetoric. We compare migration flows before and after the election and find that while it reduced immigration among deported Mexicans and at least temporarily among Central Americans, it had no effect on the overall inflow of unauthorized Mexican workers.

Registration is in the following link: Zoom