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Advancing Innovative Strategies for Change in Behavioral Health

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UPenn Perelman School of Medicine's blog

Does your personality influence your health?

Authors: Asia Sikora, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor, Department of Health Promotion, Social & Behavioral Health, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center), and J. Catherine Maclean, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania)

A recent...

What Economics and Addiction Science Tell Us About Smoking

By: Rebecca Ashare, PhD, Assistant Professor, Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Nicotine Addiction, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine, and J. Catherine Maclean, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Ethics, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

Last week, the American Cancer Society sponsored the 38th annual “Great American...

The Importance of Childhood

J. Catherine Maclean, PhD, University of Pennsyvlania, Perelman School of Medicine, Assistant Professor, Medical Ethics and Health Policy

In a recent New York Times Opinionator column, James Heckman, a Nobel Laureate and a leading economist at the University of Chicago, called for investments in early childhood development as a way to reduce inequality and promote shared prosperity.  ...

Obesity: Insights from Health Economics

By: J. Catherine Maclean, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine   September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and this post will cover economic aspects of obesity.  One of the leading public health concerns in the United States today is the high level of obesity.  Obesity is commonly measured using the Body Mass Index (BMI = weight in pounds * 703/ height in...

Low Value Health Care: What might this mean for behavioral health?

By J. Catherine Maclean, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

What is meant by “low value health care”?  This term has been popping up in both the popular news and policy debates, often in discussions of rising health care costs in the United States.  Low value health care is any care for which there exists an alternative form of care that is both equally...

Recessions may impact more than just your job: Implications for behavioral health

By: J. Catherine Maclean, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

The United States is slowly recovering from the 2007 to 2009 recession, the largest economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.  The June 2013 unemployment rate was 7.6%, and this number implies that 11.6 million Americans who want to work cannot find a job.  Moreover, 4.3 million of...

Unintended Consequences of Public Policies Targeting Substance Use

By J. Catherine Maclean, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

As articulated in a previous post, because of what economists call market failures there are times when the full cost (that is the monetary costs and other non-monetary costs such as time or hassle) of an action is not borne solely by the individual partaking in the action.  Rather, some of the costs...

Borderline Personality Disorder: Insight from Economics

By J. Catherine Maclean, PhD, Unviersity of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

To being to examine the true cost of personality disorders, and since May is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) awareness month, we will focus on BPD in a series of blog posts. Read the first two blog posts in this series...

The Impact of Alcohol Through the Lens of Economics

By: J. Catherine Maclean, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and I thought it timely to review ideas about the impact of alcohol use through the lens of economics.  Alcohol use has received a considerable amount of attention in the economic literature because of what economists call “externalities”.  Externalities emerge when...

Jobs and Behavioral Health: More than Just a Pay Check

April 2nd, 2013

By: J. Catherine Maclean, Ph.D.; Douglas Webber, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Temple University)

A vital component of modern American life is participation in paid employment.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 58.6% of individuals work in paid employment.  Labor market earnings are a major source of income for many Americans:...

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