Christopher Ruhm

Christopher Ruhm
University of Virginia | UVa · Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy

About

117
Publications
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Publications

Publications (117)
Article
Full-text available
The United States is one of the few countries that does not guarantee paid family leave (PFL) to workers. Proposals for PFL legislation are often met with opposition from employer organizations, which fear disruptions to business, especially among small employers. But there are limited data on employers’ views. The authors surveyed firms with 10 to...
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We examine whether the least educated population groups experienced the worst mortality trends at the beginning of the 21st century by measuring changes in mortality across education quartiles. We document sharply differing gender patterns. Among women, mortality trends improved fairly monotonically with education. Conversely, male trends for the l...
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In 1996, Germany introduced the Altersteilzeit (ATZ) policy, which incentivized partial retirement. Using linked establishment survey and administrative employment data, the authors estimate changes in part-time employment rates and retirement after ATZ. Among men, part-time work increased and retirements were postponed by at least 0.6 years withou...
Article
The number of Americans dying from drug overdoses has risen rapidly, but the contribution of nonopioid drugs to this growth is not well understood. Using vital statistics data from the universe of deaths among US residents in the period 1999-2016, I calculated levels of and increases in overall nonopioid fatal overdose rates and those for subgroups...
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This article examines potential tradeoffs between research methods in answering important questions versus providing more cleanly identified estimates on problems that are potentially of lesser interest. The strengths and limitations of experimental and quasi‐experimental methods are discussed and it is postulated that confidence in the results obt...
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Introduction: Increasing mortality rates among midlife non-Hispanic whites have been identified but are not well understood. Methods: Vital statistics data were used in 2017 to examine to what extent increases in mortality rates and years of potential life lost among midlife non-Hispanic whites from 1999 to 2015 are correlated with increases in...
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Background and aims: Most prior estimates of opioid-involved drug poisoning mortality counts or rates are understated because the specific drugs leading to death are frequently not identified on death certificates. This analysis provides corrected national estimates of opioid and heroin/synthetic opioid-involved counts and mortality rates, as well...
Article
Résumé Une vague de départs à la retraite s'annonce en Allemagne, qui privera les entreprises d'une main‐d'œuvre parfois difficile à remplacer. Dans ce contexte, les auteurs s'intéressent à l'apport de la formation en entreprise, recherchant une corrélation entre formation, salaire et probabilité de départ. Ils montrent que cette probabilité diminu...
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Resumen La retención en las empresas de los trabajadores de más edad podría paliar carencias de capital humano derivadas del rápido envejecimiento de la población activa. Con datos de emparejamientos empresa‐asalariado de Alemania, de 2002–2008, los autores investigan la relación entre formación en la empresa, salarios y decisiones de jubilación de...
Article
Introduction: An important barrier to formulating effective policies to address the rapid rise in U.S. fatal overdoses is that the specific drugs involved are frequently not identified on death certificates. This analysis supplies improved estimates of state opioid and heroin involved drug fatality rates in 2014, and changes from 2008 to 2014. Me...
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Death certificate data from the Multiple Cause of Death (MCOD) files were analyzed to better understand the drug categories most responsible for the increase in fatal overdoses occurring between 1999 and 2014. Statistical adjustment methods were used to account for the understatement in reported drug involvement occurring because death certificates...
Article
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 s...
Article
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Drug poisoning mortality in the US has risen rapidly but the drugs involved are frequently unspecified on death certificates. Reported and adjusted proportions of specific drug types involved in fatal drug poisonings were calculated using vital statistics mortality data from 1999 to 2012. The adjusted proportions were those predicted to occur if at...
Article
Full-text available
In 1996, Germany introduced the Altersteilzeit (ATZ) law, which encouraged longer working lives through partial retirement incentives. Using matched pension system and establishment survey data, we estimate changes in part-time employment and retirement after ATZ. We find the policy induced growth in part-time work for men and extended men's expect...
Article
Over the 1976-2010 period, total mortality shifted from strongly procyclical to being weakly or unrelated to macroeconomic conditions. The association is likely to be poorly measured when using short (less than 15 year) analysis periods. Deaths from cardiovascular disease and transport accidents continue to be procyclical; however, countercyclical...
Article
There is great interest in evaluating the impact of private equity investments on innovation and economic growth. However, there is no direct empirical evidence on the effects of such transactions on the innovation strategies of entrepreneurial firms. We fill this gap by examining a rich project-level data set consisting of entrepreneurial firms re...
Article
To determine if younger and older hospital employed nurses have differences in their self-reported health, health related productivity and quality of care. An understanding of age cohort differences may assist nurse managers in understanding the health related productivity and potential quality of care concerns of their staff. A cross-sectional sur...
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Children in food-insecure households are more likely to experience poorer health function and worse academic achievement. To investigate the relationship between economic environmental factors and food insecurity among children, we examined the relationship between general and specific food prices (fast food, fruits and vegetables, beverages) and r...
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We investigate the extent to which previous alcohol own-price elasticity estimates may have been biased by use of price data from the Inter-City Cost of Living Index, a quarterly publication of the American Chamber of Commerce Research Association (ACCRA) (now the Council for Community and Economic Research). Most previous alcohol demand studies ha...
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Background: The affordability of alcoholic beverages, determined by the relationship of prices to incomes, may be an important factor in relation to heavy drinking, but little is known about how affordability has changed over time. Purpose: To calculate real prices and affordability measures for alcoholic beverages in the U.S. over the period fr...
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Prior research demonstrates that mortality rates increase during economic booms and decrease during economic busts, but little analysis has been conducted investigating the role of environmental risks as potential mechanisms for this relationship. We investigate the contribution of air pollution to the procyclicality of deaths by combining state-le...
Article
Using data from the 1967–2009 years of the March Current Population Surveys (CPS), we examine two important resources for children’s well-being: time and money. We document trends in parental employment, from the perspective of children, and show what underlies these trends. We find that increases in family work hours mainly reflect movements into...
Article
This paper examines how estimates of the price elasticity of demand for beer vary with the choice of alcohol price series examined. Our most important finding is that the commonly used ACCRA price data are unlikely to reliably indicate alcohol demand elasticities-estimates obtained from this source vary drastically and unpredictably. As an alternat...
Article
The combination of economic and biological factors is likely to result in overeating in the current environment of cheap and readily available food. This propensity is shown using a "dual decision" approach where choices reflect the interaction of a "deliberative" system, operating as in standard economic models, and an "affective" system that resp...
Article
We examine how wealth shocks, in the form of inheritances, affect the mortality rates, health status and health behaviors of older adults, using data from eight waves of the Health and Retirement Survey. Our main finding is that bequests do not have substantial effects on health, although improvements in quality-of-life are possible. This absence o...
Article
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 i...
Article
Risky health behaviors such as smoking, drinking alcohol, drug use, unprotected sex, and poor diets and sedentary lifestyles (leading to obesity) are a major source of preventable deaths. This chapter overviews the theoretical frameworks for, and empirical evidence on, the economics of risky health behaviors. It describes traditional economic appro...
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In this paper we show that the patenting behavior of creative entrepreneurs is correlated with the patenting behavior of their fathers, which we refer to as a source of the entrepreneurs’ human capital endowments. Our argument for this relationship follows from established theories of developmental creativity, and our empirical analysis is based on...
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The struggle to balance work responsibilities with family obligations may be most difficult for working parents of the youngest children, those five and under. Any policy changes designed to ease the difficulties for these families are likely to be controversial, requiring a careful effort to weigh both the costs and benefits of possible interventi...
Article
An aging workforce and high-stress environments have led to more nurses working with their own health problems, which in turn affects productivity. To assess this issue, the authors conducted focus groups with nurses and nurse managers. The authors discuss their findings and their implications for more proactively addressing issues that relate to h...
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We use longitudinal data from the 1984 through 2007 waves of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to examine how occupational status is related to the health transitions of 30 to 59 year-old U.S. males. A recent history of blue-collar employment predicts a substantial increase in the probability of transitioning from very good into bad self-assessed...
Chapter
Risky health behaviors such as smoking, drinking alcohol, drug use, unprotected sex, and poor diets and sedentary lifestyles (leading to obesity) are a major source of preventable deaths. This chapter overviews the theoretical frameworks for, and empirical evidence on, the economics of risky health behaviors. It describes traditional economic appro...
Article
Full-text available
The literature examining the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and wages has fairly consistently found that BMI has a negative impact on earnings for women, and less (if any) consequences for men. In this paper, we relax the assumption -- largely unquestioned in this research -- that the conditional mean of wages is linear or piecewise lin...
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We use panel data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) to examine how body weight changes with age for a cohort moving through early adulthood, to investigate how the age-obesity gradient differs with socioeconomic status (SES) and to study channels for these SES disparities. Our results show first that weight increases with age an...
Article
We describe trends in maternal employment and leave-taking after birth of a newborn and analyze the extent to which these behaviors are influenced by parental leave policies. Data are from the June Current Population Survey (CPS) Fertility Supplements, merged with other months of the CPS, and cover the period 1987 to 1994. This time span is one dur...
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This paper examines the role of guanxi in the emergence of the Chinese institutional environment, institutional structure and business environment. In China, the institutional environment, institutional structure and resulting business environment are rapidly evolving and are not yet stable or predictable. Under these circumstances, guanxi is impor...
Article
This study investigates how maternal employment is related to the cognitive development and body weight of 10 and 11 year olds, controlling for a wide variety of child, mother and family characteristics. The results suggest that limited market work benefits youths who are relatively "disadvantaged" and even long hours, which occur infrequently, are...
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We offer empirical information on the correlates of commercialization activity for research projects funded through the U.S. National Institutes of Health's (NIH's) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award program. Based on this analysis we suggest possible recommendations for improving this aspect of the performance of NIH's SBIR program. S...
Chapter
This article summarizes the conclusions of research examining how health is affected by income inequality and temporary changes in macroeconomic conditions. In both cases, recent analyses have raised serious doubt about the ‘conventional wisdom’ derived from earlier studies using less adequate analytical methods. Specifically, the latest studies qu...
Article
Using rich longitudinal data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten cohort (ECLS-K), we find that children who attended preschool enter public schools with higher levels of academic skills than their peers who experienced other types of child care (effect size of .14). This study considers the circumstances under which the prescho...
Article
Prekindergarten programs are expanding rapidly, but to date, evidence on their effects is quite limited. Using rich data from Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, we estimate the effects of prekindergarten on children's school readiness. We find that prekindergarten increases reading and mathematics skills at school entry, but also increases behavio...
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This study examines the child care "expenditure share," defined as child care expenses divided by after-tax income. We estimate that the average child under six years of age lives in a family that spends 4.9 percent of after-tax income on child care. However, this conceals wide variation: 63 percent of such children reside in families with no child...
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This study examines past patterns and projects future prevalence rates of obesity and severe obesity among US adults. Trends in body mass index (BMI), overweight (BMI≥25), obesity (BMI≥30), class 2 obesity (BMI≥35), class 3 obesity (BMI≥40) and class 4 obesity (BMI≥45) of 20-74 year olds are obtained using data from the first National Health Examin...
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This study uses aggregate data for 23 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries over the 1960-1997 period to examine the relationship between macroeconomic conditions and deaths. The main finding is that total mortality and deaths from several common causes rise when labor markets strengthen. For instance, controlling f...
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This study examines the "cost burden" of child care, defined as day care expenses divided by after-tax income. Data are from the wave 10 core and child care topical modules to the 1996 Survey of Income and Program Participation. We estimate that the average child under six years of age lives in a family that spends 4.9 percent of after-tax income o...
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Obesity is not only a health but also an economic phenomenon. This chapter (a) examines underlying economic causes, such as technological advancements, behind the obesity epidemic; (b) describes economic consequences of obesity, including increasing obesity-related medical expenditures; and (c) discusses the role of government in combating the obes...
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This study examines trends in labor force involvement, household structure, and some activities that may complicate the efforts of parents with young children to balance work and family life. Next I consider whether employer policies mitigate or exacerbate these difficulties and, since the policies adopted in the United States diverge dramatically...
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Evidence relating unemployment to health is found at every level of social science analysis from national population rates to individual psychophysiological stress response. At the population level of analysis, increase in the unemployment rate indicates recession and/or structural economic decline. At the individual level, unemployment is interpre...
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This study uses microdata from the 1972-1981 National Health Interview Surveys to examine how health status and medical care utilization fluctuate with state macroeconomic conditions, after controlling for personal characteristics, location fixed-effects, general time effects and (usually) state-specific time trends. The major finding is that there...
Article
This study investigates whether rights to parental leave improve pediatric health. Aggregate data are used for 16 European countries over the 1969 through 1994 period. More generous paid leave is found to reduce deaths of infants and young children. The magnitudes of the estimated effects are substantial, especially where a causal effect of leave i...
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This study investigates the relationship between parental employment and child cognitive development using data from multiple years of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Maternal labor supply during the first three years of the child's life is predicted to have a small negative effect on the verbal ability of 3 and 4 year olds and a substan...
Article
This analysis provides an in-depth investigation of the determinants of pay in the nonprofit sector. The main findings are as follows. First, holding constant individual characteristics, average weekly wages are 11 percent lower in nonprofit than for-profit jobs. However, this difference is entirely explained by the concentration of nonprofit emplo...
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This study investigates the relationship between economic conditions and health. Total mortality and eight of the ten sources of fatalities examined are shown to exhibit a procyclical fluctuation, with suicides representing an important exception. The variations are largest for those causes and age groups where behavioral responses are most plausib...
Article
This study examines the relationship between international trade, technology, and exposure to job displacement, using data on displaced workers as well as those at risk of job dislocation, for the two‐year sample periods 1986‐1987 and 1990‐1991. Workers employed in manufacturing industries with elevated import penetration or high shares of R&D pers...
Article
This study examines the relationship between international trade, technology, and exposure to job displacement, using data on displaced workers as well as those at risk of job dislocation, for the two-year sample periods 1986–1987 and 1990–1991. Workers employed in manufacturing industries with elevated import penetration or high shares of R&D pers...
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This chapter studies worker displacement in the United States and the Nether-lands. We discuss the relevant institutions, and we analyze the incidence and con-sequences of displacement. In the 1993–1995 period, displacement rates in the US and the Netherlands are about the same, and vary similarly with tenure and gender. Also, we …nd some evidence...
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This study investigates the economic consequences of rights to paid parental leave in nine European countries over the 1969 through 1993 period. Since women use virtually all parental leave in most nations, men constitute a reasonable comparison group, and most of the analysis examines how changes in paid leave affect the gap between female and mal...
Article
In this paper, we develop an econometric model to estimate the impacts of Electronic Vehicle Management Systems (EVMS) on the load factor (LF) of heavy trucks using data at the operational level. This technology is supposed to improve capacity utilization by reducing coordination costs between demand and supply. The model is estimated on a subsampl...
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This study examines how high school employment affects future economic attainment. There is no indication that light to moderate job commitments ever have a detrimental effect; instead, hours worked during the senior grade are positively correlated with future earnings, fringe benefits, and occupational status. These gains occur even though employe...
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This article summarizes the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act, its possible effects on labor markets, and the resulting changes in the ability of workers to take leave. The author concludes that the actual provisions of the act are quite modest and have yielded neither large benefits to workers nor imposed significant costs on employer...
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This study investigates the impact of beer taxes and a variety of alcohol-control policies on motor vehicle fatality rates. Special attention is paid to omitted variables biases resulting from failing to adequately control for grassroots efforts to reduce drunk driving, the enactment of other laws which simultaneously operate to reduce highway fata...
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We study the relationship between international trade, technology, and the probability and consequences of job displacement, using data on displaced workers as well as those at risk of job dislocation for 1984-86 and 1989-91. Workers employed in industries with elevated import shares and high levels of investment in computers appear to have increas...
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Gender differences in the employment rates of 55- to 59-year-olds are concentrated among married persons. Wives are much less likely than their husbands to hold jobs and, more often, to cite family motivations as their most important reason for not working. The employment disparity is partially the result of the coordinated retirement decisions (co...
Article
This study investigates the relationship between macroeconomic conditions and two alcohol-related outcomes--liquor consumption and highway vehicle fatalities. Fixed-effect models are estimated for the 48 contiguous states over the 1975-1988 time period. Alcohol consumption and traffic deaths vary procyclically, with a major portion of the effect of...
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During the mid-1970s, a number of prestigious commissions convened to study the problems of adolescents reached the common conclusion that additional early work experience would foster the development of personal responsibility, smooth the transition from youth to adulthood, and improve educational performance and occupational attainment. Shortly t...
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Despite widespread international implementation, limited information is currently available on the economic impact of mandated family leave policies. This paper increases our understanding of the nature and effects of parental leave entitlements in several ways. First, we provide a brief history of family leave legislation in Europe and North Ameri...
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This paper examines trends in the work and retirement patterns of males aged 58 to 63 in 1969 and 1989 respectively. The labor force attachments of this group have fallen for reasons unrelated to changes in individual characteristics or occupational attainment. Especially sharp reductions at age 62 hint at an increasingly important role for the ear...
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This paper investigates the relationship between pension coverage and the retirement behavior of older men. Pensions are associated with higher work involvement for males in their late fifties and early sixties but with lower rates of job holding for those aged 65–69. Age of entry into pension employment is shown to be positively correlated with fu...
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This article analyzes a 1989 Louis Harris and Associates survey designed to elicit information on the employment histories and job-stopping behavior of men and women who then were approaching or had recently reached retirement age. The results indicate that retirement often occurs gradually and includes a substantial period of "bridge employment."...
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Three to five years after job displacements, workers receiving the advance notice mandated by current law earn approximately 10 percent more than their nonnotified counterparts. This differential is not the result of firms systematically notifying persons with favorable reemployment prospects--early warnings are disproportionately obtained by indiv...
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This article analyzes a 1989 Louis Harris and Associates survey designed to elicit information on the employment histories and job-stopping behavior if men and women who then were approaching or has recently reached retirment age. The results indicate that retirement often occurs gradually and includes a substantial period of "bridge employment." M...
Article
An estimated 70 percent of illicit drug users are in the workforce. This paper studies workplace policies relating to drug abuse treatment and testing in a labor market with asymmetric information about worker proclivities to abuse drugs and to incur costs of workplace accidents. Drug abuse has a moral hazard component related to worker choice of t...
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When analyzing duration data, covariates are typically assumed to modify hazard rates through the use of the proportional hazard model, in which the baseline hazard is multiplied by some function of the regressors and associated parameters, g(·), to determine individual hazard rates. The specification for g(·) which is in virtually universal use, g...
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This article investigates whether prenotification decreases postdisplacement joblessness. Reduced-form estimates indicate that lengthy written notice is associated with small increases in the probability of avoiding nonemployment but with no decline in average durations. Significant reductions are found, however, for household heads, women, nonwhit...
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Career jobs typically end well before retirement and are followed by a period of postcareer employment. Although the most financially successful transitions occur when new positions are obtained in the same industry and occupation as the career job, mobility usually involves a change in industry andlor in occupation. Pension-covered career jobs las...
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Previous research examining the nonemployment of displaced workers suffers from methodological flaws which reinforce widely held, but substantially incorrect, views about the pattern of postseparation joblessness. In particular, adjustment difficulties have been overstated for nonwhites, long tenure workers, and those terminated during periods of h...
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The year 1973 marked a divide in the postwar economy.1 During the 25 years between 1948 and 1973, private sector productivity increased at an annual rate of 2.9%. Productivity improvement after 1973 fell way below this long-term trend, leveling off at about 0.6% a year until 1981 and rising to only 1.6% a year between 1981 and 1987. A similar patte...