Economic evaluation of tax policies on health and well-being

Ze Song
This dissertation explores how tax policies impact the economic behavior of individuals and firms. In particular, I explore the link between public finance and public health. The first chapter provides an overview of the dissertation that includes three essays. The second chapter of my dissertation studies the investment decisions of kidney dialysis providers induced by differences in corporate taxes at the state level. The results have broad implications for Medicare expenditures at the local
more » ... evel. The third chapter examines the impact of exposure to Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) expansions in utero and during childhood on health outcomes in adulthood. The fourth chapter evaluates the impact of the EITC on divorced mothers with a focus on remarriage decisions and spousal quality. I provide a short description of three essays below. Medicare expenditures and their growth vary dramatically across regions. Could differences in corporate taxes contribute to this geographic variation? The second chapter of this dissertation exploits differences in state corporate tax rates to study the investment decisions of chain dialysis providers and their impact on local Medicare expenditures. I focus on chain dialysis providers as they have increasingly become the dominant providers of dialysis services, and recent research has demonstrated that they have higher Medicare charges per patient than independent dialysis providers. I find that a one percent decrease in a state's corporate income tax rate leads to a 0.3 to 0.4 percent increase in the number of chain-owned facilities per county in the state. Adding one chain-owned dialysis facility per county results in an additional $110 in Medicare drug payments per patient per year. This represents a four percent increase in average per capita drug payments and is driven by the greater use of reimbursed drugs by chain-owned facilities. Overall, my results suggest that state corporate taxes influence federal Medicare liability through the provision of health care services at the [...]
doi:10.7282/t3-vvqf-zs94 fatcat:jnjffvr4unarpnlklw3kkfbphi