ESSAYS ON HUMAN HEALTH AND ECONOMICS OF DISEASES
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This dissertation is an essay on investments in human health, disease control and impacts of disease shocks on economy. In the first chapter, we revisit the causal relationship between parental income and children’s diseases symptoms, examining the attenuating role of child nutrition and household sanitation. We employ panel data from the population morbidity surveillance and socio-economic survey in Asembo, Kenya. We specify linear and nonlinear models, correct for sample selection and endogeneity of parental income with children' diseases symptoms and perform a mediation analysis. Lower-income children have a higher number of reported symptoms, and child nutrition and household sanitation attenuate the causal relationship between parental income and children's health in a context where communicable diseases make a substantial share of diseases burden. The second chapter proposes a Bayesian approach to systematically estimate the economic impacts of diseases shocks. The approach is illustrated with the US meat industry shocked by Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), Rift Valley Fever (RVF), and Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). Farm supply shock harms the most the industry. BSE has the most significant adverse aggregate effects on the beef sector and the industry. Farmers are the most affected for BSE and RVF while for HPAI wholesalers incur the most substantial impact. Consumers are mostly worst off under the scenario analysis, but the distribution differs per affected commodities. Their welfare change under the sensitivity analysis depends on the affected sector. We find that a non-informative prior is a proxy to a medium outbreak while categorizing shocks based on their distributional moments provides detailed outcomes and improves estimation of impacts. The third chapter endogenizes Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) incidence on economy allowing a two-way interaction between the economy and the disease dynamics to study health investment, disease control and learning associated with it. We show that the change in the steady state of economic variables is non-linear and can be non-monotonic. Disease control, and health capital investment increase with a decreasing discount rate as does the output share of disease, although non-monotonically. While the disease-free steady state is parameter-free, a parameter-dependent steady state emerges from the endemic problem.