Thursday September 14 in room A822 at 15:00
Title: Place-Specific Drivers of Mortality: Evidence from Patient Migration


Mortality outcomes differ dramatically across geographic areas within the US.
In this paper, we investigate the sources of this variation, using administrative data from the US Medicare program to follow over-65 Medicare beneficiaries as they move across areas.
Our approach allows us to decompose the geographic variation in mortality into an individual, health capital component and a current place effect; the current place effect captures all environmental factors that affect mortality in the short run.
To address selective migration, we control for the individual’s origin, as well as rich pre-move health measures; we also apply a novel selectioncorrection approach for using variation in observables to adjust for variation in unobervables that leverages estimates of the variance of unobservables in the origin to avoid having to make an assumption about the overall predictive power of unobservables.
We find substantial variation in current place effects, that is at least one-third of the cross-sectional mortality variation.
However, because areas with low-mortality current place effects have local populations with poor health capital, current place effects account for very little of the cross-area variation in mortality.



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