Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Moore School of Business

First Advisor

Jason M. DeBacker

Second Advisor

Örgül D. Öztürk

Abstract

I study decision-making in healthcare choices and competitions. In my analysis, I use both quasi-experimental and experimental methods. In the first chapter, I investigate the effects of C-sections on babies and their mothers. Using administrative data from South Carolina, I exploit the breech position to isolate variation in C-sections that is uncorrelated with the ex-ante health of the infant and mother. I find that a C-section increases the probability of abnormal conditions for babies immediately after birth. However, there are no significant effects on babies’ future health conditions after birth. Mothers who deliver by C-section are more likely to develop complications in puerperium after birth in those marginal cases where the baby randomly stays upside-down. Mothers who deliver by C-section are more likely to develop complications in puerperium after birth, however, there is suggestive evidence that C-sections might be good for post-partum mental health. This research also documents that C-sections increase the length of hospital stays and lead to reductions in future fertility.

In the second chapter, my coauthor and I investigate how individuals behave and interact with each other in contests with entry fees in an experimental laboratory. We find overspending for all entry fees; under - participation for low entry fees; over - participation for medium and high entry fees; and the optimal entry fee for the contest designer. We find that the optimal experimental entry fee is much higher than the theoretical one.

Included in

Economics Commons

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