MORTALITY AND MORBIDITY RISKS AND ECONOMIC BEHAVIOR
ABSTRACT There are theoretical reasons to expect that high risk of mortality or morbidity during young adulthood decreases investment in human capital. However, investigation of this hypothesis is complicated by a variety of empirical challenges, including difficulties in inferring causation due to omitted variables and reverse causation. For example, to compare two groups with substantially different mortality rates, one typically has to use samples from different countries or periods, making it difficult to control for other relevant variables. Reverse causation is important because human capital investment can affect mortality and morbidity. To counter these problems, we collected data on human capital investments, fertility decisions, and other economic choices of people at risk for Huntington's disease. Huntington's disease is a fatal genetic disorder that introduces a large and exogenous risk of early mortality and morbidity. We find a strong negative relation between mortality and morbidity risks and human capital investment. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- American Economic Review 08/2013; 103(5):1977-2002. DOI:10.1257/aer.103.5.1977 · 2.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI-MSI) and profiling technology have become the easiest methods for quickly accessing the protein composition of a tissue area. Unfortunately, the demand for the identification of these proteins remains unmet. To overcome this bottleneck, we combined several strategies to identify the proteins detected via MALDI profiling including on-tissue protein extraction using hexafluoroIsopropanol (1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoro-2-propanol, HFIP) coupled with two-dimensional cetyl trimethylammonium bromide/sodium dodecyl sulfate–polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D CTAB/SDS-PAGE) for separation followed by trypsin digestion and MALDI-MS analyses for identification. This strategy was compared with an on-tissue bottom-up strategy that we previously developed. The data reflect the com-plementarity of the approaches. An increase in the number of specific proteins identified has been established. This approach demonstrates the potential of adapted extraction procedures and the combination of parallel identification approaches for personalized medicine applications. The anatomical context provides important insight into identifying biomarkers and may be considered a first step for tissue-based biomarker research, as well as the extemporaneous examination of biopsies during surgery.Omics A Journal of Integrative Biology 05/2014; DOI:10.1089/omi.2013.0176 · 2.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Credit scores are the most widely used instruments to assess whether or not a person is a financial risk. Credit scoring has been so successful that it has expanded beyond lending and into our everyday lives, even to inform how insurers evaluate our health. The pervasive application of credit scoring has outpaced knowledge about why credit scores are such useful indicators of individual behavior. Here we test if the same factors that lead to poor credit scores also lead to poor health. Following the Dunedin (New Zealand) Longitudinal Study cohort of 1,037 study members, we examined the association between credit scores and cardiovascular disease risk and the underlying factors that account for this association. We find that credit scores are negatively correlated with cardiovascular disease risk. Variation in household income was not sufficient to account for this association. Rather, individual differences in human capital factors-educational attainment, cognitive ability, and self-control-predicted both credit scores and cardiovascular disease risk and accounted for ∼45% of the correlation between credit scores and cardiovascular disease risk. Tracing human capital factors back to their childhood antecedents revealed that the characteristic attitudes, behaviors, and competencies children develop in their first decade of life account for a significant portion (∼22%) of the link between credit scores and cardiovascular disease risk at midlife. We discuss the implications of these findings for policy debates about data privacy, financial literacy, and early childhood interventions.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2014; 111(48). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1409794111 · 9.81 Impact Factor