Joseph Vidi, BA - Hons. Economics and Financial Management (2017)


Immigrant Obesity in Canada: Does Acculturation Cause Immigrants to Develop Unhealthy

Abstract

While existing studies have found immigrants are healthier than Canadian born upon arrival, and their health converges to Canadian born over time, there is less evidence on the behavioural changes associated with the convergence. Given an abundance of research finding improvements in physical activity may mitigate the economic burden of obesity in Canada, this study employs three Canadian social surveys (the National Population Health Survey (NPHS 1994-1995), and two cycles of the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS Cycle 3.1:2004-2005 and 2014))  to document changes in physical activity and its associated increases in obesity rates among recent and long-term (defined as having arrived in Canada less than ten years ago and over 10 years ago, respectively) immigrants. A linear probability model is used to estimate the probability of being overweight and obese as a function of daily energy expenditure through leisure related physical activity for recent and long-term immigrants. Despite increasing trends in physical activity, long-term male immigrants exercise less, yet face larger reductions in the probability of being obese relative to Canadian born men, while the association between physical activity and a decreased probability of being overweight for female long-term immigrants has shrunk between 1994 to 2014.
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Victoria Colaco, BA - Hons. Economics and Accounting (2017)

Relationship between Physical Activity and Overall Health Status

Abstract

The paper estimates the association between physical activity and overall health status. Health is important to study as it is universal; people across the world are affected by heath status. Being healthy allows individuals to participate in other activities and requires investments. Investments into health can be considered time spent participating in physical activity. Data are from the 2013/2014 Canadian Community Health Survey. Health is measured using self-reported health, and physical activity is measured using average daily energy expenditure in leisure time physical activity. A linear probability model is used to estimate the association between the level of physical activity on the probability of reporting excellent or very good health, controlling for age, sex, marital status, income and education. The estimates suggest increasing physical activity to an active level increases the probability of reporting excellent and very good health.  However, the estimates also suggest too much physical activity (more than 7 to 10 metabolic equivalent tasks) can decrease the probability of reporting excellent and very good health.
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Darren Hulley, BA - Hons. Economics and Accounting (2017)

Fueling Obesity: The Relationship Between Obesity and Gasoline Prices

Abstract

The increasing rate of obesity in the Canadian population is leading to a higher percentage of the population being susceptible to obesity related health problems. The increase in obesity is likely due to changes in underlying obesogenic behaviour, such as increased caloric intake, decreased energy expenditure, or both. There are a number of external factors that may affect obesogenic behavior. This paper looks at one specific factor, gasoline prices, and their effect on obesity and one specific obesogenic behavior: physical activity. Data come from the Public Use Master File of the 2014 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS). The CCHS data is supplemented with average monthly retail gasoline price data for large urban centres, provided by Statistics Canada. The CCHS sample of 63,522 respondents is restricted to respondents over the age of 18, and living in a health region associated with a large urban centre in the gasoline price data. The resulting analysis sample size is 26,433 respondents. The primary measure is a binary variable for obesity, with secondary measure of energy expenditure. Using linear regressions, separate models are estimated for the association between gasoline prices and obesity, and the association between gasoline prices and energy expenditure. The results suggest 10 cent increase in the price of gasoline results in a 2.2% decrease in the rate of obesity. The results also show a 10 cent increase in the price of gasoline results in a less than 1% decrease in energy expenditure. These results suggest the relationship between gasoline prices and either obesity or energy expenditure is not large in magnitude. Suggesting, increases in gasoline prices may not be an effective way to reduce the increasing rate of obesity.
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Shadi Varkiani, BA - Hons. Economics and Financial Management (2017)

The Burning Question: Is There a Relationship between Marijuana and Mental Health?

Abstract

While the Canadian federal government considers cannabis legalization, little is understood about the effects of cannabis use on mental health. This paper aims to contribute to our understanding by empirically examining the impact of cannabis use on mental health. Using data from the Canadian Community Health Survey: Mental Health Component (2012), the effect of cannabis use on the probability of negative self-reported mental health is estimated for ages 15 and older. A secondary analysis focuses on respondents aged 20-29, to account for possibly unobservable factors and reverse causality. The estimate from a linear probability model suggest cannabis use is associated with a 4 percentage point increase in the probability of negative mental health, and a 6 percentage point increase in the probability of negative mental health among respondents aged 20-29. The results suggest there may be a negative effect of cannabis use, further research is necessary to establish if there is a causal relationship.


Raphael Berard, BA - Hons. Economics and Financial Management (2016)

Empirical analysis of cigarette taxes on youth smoking

Abstract

Most of the literature focuses on the effect of sharp tax changes on youth cigarette consumption in the 1980s to 1990s, which is also an era of high contraband. This paper examines the effect of tobacco tax increases on youth and young adult smoking in a period where tax changes are small and uncommon. OLS estimates suggest a tax elasticity of -0.0006 and tax on age elasticity of 0.011. They reveal no marginal effect of higher tobacco taxes on youth and young adult cigarette consumption. However, we find strong effects of age and household smoking on consumption.

Istvan Kery, BA - Hons. Applied Economics (2015)

The Direct and Indirect Financial Burden of Utilizing Canadian Health Care Services

Abstract

The topic of this research paper is the financial burden of utilizing health services based on limited public insurance and the financial cost of supplemental insurance. The paper will explore how this financial burden affects low-income households’ health care utilization in Canada. It will attempt to find evidence that low-income households face a ‘double disadvantage’ where low-income households directly face a barrier to pay for health services without public insurance and indirectly face a barrier to pay for health services from the financial cost of supplemental health care insurance. The research finds low-income Canadian residents are unable to pay for health services directly and are unable to pay for supplemental health insurance, the owning of which would reduce health service cost. Ultimately, the research does provide evidence that Canadian residents face a financial barrier based on household income that limits their use of health services and suggests they face a financial double disadvantage.