THREE ESSAYS ON HEALTH ECONOMICS
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This dissertation consists of three independent papers on health economics. In the first paper, my coauthor and I explore the effects of high school graduation requirements (HSGR) on health behaviors of high school students and finds that an increase in HSGR is a significant deterrent on alcohol consumption among high-school students, particularly minority students. The paper adds to the literature by connecting the stringency of high school graduation requirements with health behaviors of youth for the first time. In the second paper, my coauthor and I examine the spillover effects of recreational marijuana legalization (RML) in Colorado and Washington on marijuana-related arrests in neighboring states. We find that RML causes a sharp increase in marijuana possession arrests in border counties of neighboring states and provide additional evidence that an increase in marijuana use in these states, rather than changes in law enforcement practice, most likely drive this result. I examine the effects of the New Rural Pension Scheme (NRPS) implemented in China in recent years on health outcomes of elderly in the third paper. I find modest evidence suggesting that NRPS increased the treatment probability of chronic diseases among males.