WorldCat Identities

Oster, Emily

Overview
Works: 29 works in 98 publications in 2 languages and 1,244 library holdings
Classifications: RG525, 618.2
Publication Timeline
Key
Publications about  Emily Oster Publications about Emily Oster
Publications by  Emily Oster Publications by Emily Oster
Most widely held works by Emily Oster
Expecting better : why the conventional wisdom is wrong-- and what you really need to know by Emily Oster ( Book )
2 editions published in 2013 in English and held by 471 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Pregnancy--unquestionably one of the most profound, meaningful experiences of adulthood--can reduce otherwise intelligent women to, well, babies. We're told to avoid cold cuts, sushi, alcohol, and coffee, but aren't told why. Rules for prenatal testing are hard and fast--and unexplained. Are all of these recommendations right for every mom-to-be? Here, the author shows that pregnancy rules are often misguided and sometimes flat-out wrong. Pregnant women face an endless stream of decisions, from the casual to the frightening. Expecting Better presents the hard facts and real-world advice you won't get at the doctor's office or in the existing literature
Expecting better why the conventional pregnancy wisdom is wrong-- and what you really need to know by Emily Oster ( Recording )
3 editions published in 2013 in English and held by 74 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Pregnancy is full of rules. Pregnant women are often treated as if they were children, given long lists of items to avoid--alcohol, caffeine, sushi--without any real explanation from their doctors about why. They hear frightening and contradictory myths from friends and pregnancy books about everything from weight gain to sleeping on your back to bed rest. Economist Emily Oster believes there is a better way. In Expecting Better, she shows that the information given to pregnant women is sometimes wrong and almost always oversimplified, and she debunks a host of standard recommendations on everything from drinking to fetal testing
Expecting better : why the conventional pregnancy wisdom is wrong-- and what you really need to know by Emily Oster ( Book )
6 editions published between 2013 and 2014 in English and held by 62 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
-- Why A mom-to-be herself, Oster debunks the myths of pregnancy using her particular mode of critical thinking: economics, the study of how we get what we want. Oster knows that the value of anything?a home, an amniocentesis?is in the eyes of the informed beholder, and like any compli?cated endeavor, pregnancy is not a one-size-fits-all affair. And yet medicine often treats it as such. Are doctors working from bad data? Are well-meaning friends and family perpetuating false myths and raising unfounded concerns? Oster?s answer is yes, and often. Pregnant women face an endless stream of decisions, from the casual (Can I eat this?) to the frightening (Is it worth risking a miscarriage to test for genetic defects?). -- any · Many unnecessary labor inductions could be avoided by simply staying hydrated. · Epidurals are great for pain relief and fine for your baby, but they do carry some risks for mom. · Limiting women to ice chips during labor is an antiquated practice; you should at least be able to sneak in some Gatorade. · You shouldn?t worry about dyeing your hair or cleaning the cat?s litter box, but gardening while pregnant can actually be risky. · Hot tubs, hot baths, hot yoga: avoid (at least during the first trimester). · You should be more worried about gaining too little weight during pregnancy than gaining too much. · Most exercise during pregnancy is fine (no rock climbing!), but there isn?t much evidence that it has benefits. Except for exercising your pelvic floor with Kegels: that you should be doing. · Your eggs do not have a 35-year-old sell-by date: plenty of women get pregnant after 35 and there is no sudden drop in fertility on your birthday. · Miscarriage risks from tests like the CVS and Amniocentesis are far lower than cited by most doctors. · Pregnancy nausea may be unpleasant, but it?s a good sign: women who are sick are less likely to miscarry
Expecting better : how to fight the pregnancy establishment with facts by Emily Oster ( Book )
4 editions published in 2013 in English and held by 59 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
HIV and sexual behavior change why not Africa? by Emily Oster ( Book )
7 editions published in 2007 in English and held by 51 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
The response of sexual behavior to HIV in Africa is an important input to predicting the path of the epidemic and to focusing prevention efforts. Existing estimates suggest limited behavioral response, but fail to take into account possible differences across individuals. A simple model of sexual behavior choice among forward-looking individuals implies that behavioral response should be larger for those with lower non-HIV mortality risks and those who are richer. I estimate behavioral response using a new instrumental variables strategy, instrumenting for HIV prevalence with distance to the origin of the virus. I find low response on average, consistent with existing literature, but larger responses for those who face lower non-HIV mortality and for those who are richer. I also show suggestive evidence, based on a very simple calibration, that the magnitude of behavioral response in Africa is of a similar order of magnitude to that among gay men in the United States, once differences in income and life expectancy are taken into account
Does increased access increase equality? : gender and child health investments in India by Emily Oster ( Book )
5 editions published in 2006 in English and held by 49 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Policymakers often argue that increasing access to health care is one crucial avenue for decreasing gender inequality in the developing world. Although this is generally true in the cross section, time series evidence does not always point to the same conclusion. This paper analyzes the relationship between access to child health investments and gender inequality in those health investments in India. A simple theory of gender-biased parental investment suggests that gender inequality may actually be non-monotonically related to access to health investments. At low levels of availability, investment in girls and boys is low but equal; as availability increases, boys get investments first, creating inequality. As availability increases further, girls also receive investments and equality is restored. I test this theory using data on the relationship between gender balance in vaccinations and the availability of "Health Camps" in India. I find support for a non-monotonic relationship. This result may shed light on the contrast between the cross-sectional and time-series evidence on gender and development, and may provide guidance for health policy in developing countries
Routes of infection exports and HIV incidence in sub-Saharan Africa by Emily Oster ( )
5 editions published in 2007 in English and held by 47 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
I generate new data on HIV incidence and prevalence in Africa based on inference from mortality rates. I use these data to relate economic activity (specifically, exports) to new HIV infections in Africa and argue there is a significant and large positive relationship between the two: a doubling of exports leads to as much as a quadrupling in new HIV infections. This relationship is consistent with a model of the epidemic in which truckers and other migrants have higher rates of risky behavior, and their numbers increase in periods with greater exports. I present evidence suggesting that the relationship between exports and HIV is causal and works, at least in part, through increased transit. The result has important policy implications, suggesting (for example) that there is significant value in prevention focused on these transit oriented groups. I apply this result to study the case of Uganda, and argue that a decline in exports in the early 1990s in that country appears to explain between 30% and 60% of the decline in HIV infections. This suggests that the success of the Ugandan anti-HIV education campaign, which encouraged changes in sexual behavior, has been overstated
The power of TV cable television and women's status in India by Robert Todd Jensen ( )
5 editions published in 2007 in English and held by 46 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Cable and satellite television have grown rapidly throughout the developing world. The availability of cable and satellite television exposes viewers to new information about the outside world, which may affect individual attitudes and behaviors. This paper explores the effect of the introduction of cable television on gender attitudes in rural India. Using a three-year individual-level panel dataset, we find that the introduction of cable television is associated with improvements in women's status. We find significant increases in reported autonomy, decreases in the reported acceptability of beating and decreases in reported son preference. We also find increases in female school enrollment and decreases in fertility (primarily via increased birth spacing). The effects are large, equivalent in some cases to about five years of education in the cross section, and move gender attitudes of individuals in rural areas much closer to those in urban areas. We argue that the results are not driven by pre-existing differential trends. These results have important policy implications, as India and other countries attempt to decrease bias against women
Determinants of technology adoption private value and peer effects in menstrual cup take-up by Emily Oster ( )
7 editions published in 2009 in English and held by 44 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
We estimate the role of benefits and peer effects in technology adoption using data from randomized distribution of menstrual cups in Nepal. Using individual randomization, we estimate causal effects of peer exposure on adoption; using differences in potential returns we estimate effects of benefits. We find both peers and value influence adoption. Using the fact that we observe both trial and usage of the product, we examine the mechanisms driving peer effects. We find that peers matters because individuals learn how to use the technology from their friends, but that they do not affect individual desire to use the cup
Genetic adverse selection evidence from long-term care insurance and Huntington disease by Emily Oster ( )
6 editions published in 2009 in English and held by 43 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Individual, personalized genetic information is increasingly available, leading to the possibility of greater adverse selection over time, particularly in individual-payer insurance markets; this selection could impact the viability of these markets. We use data on individuals at risk for Huntington disease (HD), a degenerative neurological disorder with significant effects on morbidity, to estimate adverse selection in long-term care insurance. We find strong evidence of adverse selection: individuals who carry the HD genetic mutation are up to 5 times as likely as the general population to own long-term care insurance. We use these estimates to make predictions about the future of this market as genetic information increases. We argue that even relatively limited increases in genetic information may threaten the viability of private long-term care insurance
Menstruation and education in Nepal by Emily Oster ( )
7 editions published in 2009 in English and held by 42 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
This paper presents the results from a randomized evaluation that distributed menstrual cups (menstrual sanitary products) to adolescent girls in rural Nepal. Girls in the study were randomly allocated a menstrual cup for use during their monthly period and were followed for fifteen months to measure the effects of having modern sanitary products on schooling. While girls were 3 percentage points less likely to attend school on days of their period, we find no significant effect of being allocated a menstrual cup on school attendance. There were also no effects on test scores, self-reported measures of self-esteem or gynecological health. These results suggest that policy claims that barriers to girls' schooling and activities during menstrual periods are due to lack of modern sanitary protection may not be warranted. On the other hand, sanitary products are quickly and widely adopted by girls and are convenient in other ways, unrelated to short-term schooling gains
Hepatitis B does not explain male-biased sex ratios in China by Emily Oster ( )
5 editions published in 2008 in English and held by 41 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Earlier work (Oster, 2005) has argued, based on existing medical literature and analysis of cross country data and vaccination programs, that parents who are carriers of hepatitis B have a higher offspring sex ratio (more boys) than non-carrier parents. Further, since a number of Asian countries, China in particular, have high hepatitis B carrier rates, Oster (2005) suggested that hepatitis B could explain a large share { approximately 50% { of Asia's \missing women". Subsequent work has questioned this conclusion. Most notably, Lin and Luoh (2008) use data from a large cohort of births in Taiwan and find only a very tiny effect of maternal hepatitis carrier status on offspring sex ratio. Although this work is quite conclusive for the case of mothers, it leaves open the possibility that paternal carrier status is driving higher sex offspring sex ratios. To test this, we collected data on the offspring gender for a cohort of 67,000 people in China who are being observed in a prospective cohort study of liver cancer; approximately 15% of these individuals are hepatitis B carriers. In this sample, we find no effect of either maternal or paternal hepatitis B carrier status on offspring sex. Carrier parents are no more likely to have male children than non-carrier parents. This finding leads us to conclude that hepatitis B cannot explain skewed sex ratios in China
Optimal expectations and limited medical testing evidence from Huntington disease by Emily Oster ( )
5 editions published in 2011 in English and held by 38 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
We use novel data to study the decision to undergo genetic testing by individuals at risk for Huntington disease (HD), a hereditary neurological disorder that reduces healthy life expectancy to about age 50. Although genetic testing is perfectly predictive and carries little financial or time cost, less than 10 percent of at-risk individuals are tested prior to the onset of symptoms. Testing rates are higher for individuals with higher ex ante risk of carrying the genetic expansion for HD. Untested individuals express optimistic beliefs about their probability of having HD and make fertility, savings, labor supply, and other decisions as if they do not have HD, even though individuals with confirmed HD behave quite differently. We show that these facts are qualitatively consistent with a model of optimal expectations (Brunnermeier and Parker, 2005) and can be reconciled quantitatively in this model with reasonable parameter values. This model nests the neoclassical framework and, we argue, provides strong evidence rejecting the assumptions of that framework. Finally, we briefly develop policy implications
Do call centers promote school enrollment? evidence from India by Emily Oster ( )
5 editions published in 2010 in English and held by 38 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Over the last two decades in India there have been large increases in outsourced jobs and large increases in schooling rates, particularly in English. Existing evidence suggests the trends are broadly related. In this paper we explore how localized these impacts are; this has implications for understanding how quickly information about these jobs diffuses. We use panel data on school enrollment from a comprehensive school-level administrative dataset. This is merged with detailed data on Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) center location and founding dates. Using school fixed effects, we estimate the impact of introducing a new ITES center in the vicinity of the school on enrollment. We find that introducing a new ITES center results in a 5.7% increase in number of children enrolled; these effects are extremely localized. We argue this result is not driven by pre-trends in enrollment or endogenous center placement, and is not a result of ITES-center induced changes in population or increases in income. The effect is driven entirely by English-language schools, consistent with the claim that the impacts are driven by changes in returns to schooling
Limited life expectancy, human capital and health investments evidence from Huntington Disease by Emily Oster ( )
6 editions published in 2012 in English and held by 32 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
One of the most basic predictions of human capital theory is that life expectancy should impact human capital investment. Limited exogenous variation in life expectancy makes this difficult to test, especially in the contexts most relevant to the macroeconomic applications. We estimate the relationship between life expectancy and human capital investments using genetic variation in life expectancy driven by Huntington disease (HD), an inherited degenerative neurological disorder with large impacts on mortality. We compare investment levels for individuals who have ex ante identical risks of HD but learn (through early symptom development or genetic testing) that they do or do not carry the genetic mutation which causes the disease. We find strong qualitative support: individuals with more limited life expectancy complete less education and less job training. We estimate the elasticity of demand for college completion with respect to years of life expectancy of 0.40. This figure implies that differences in life expectancy explain about 10% of cross-country differences in college enrollment. Finally, we use smoking and cancer screening data to test the corollary that health capital is responsive to life expectancy
Expecting better why the conventional wisdom is wrong-- and what you really need to know by Emily Oster ( )
1 edition published in 2013 in English and held by 31 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Unobservable selection and coefficient stability theory and validation by Emily Oster ( )
4 editions published in 2013 in English and held by 25 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
A common heuristic for evaluating the problem of omitted variable bias in economics is to look at coeffcient movements after inclusion of controls. The theory under which this is informative is one in which the selection on observables is proportional to selection on unobservables, an idea which is formalized in Altonji, Elder and Taber (2005). However, this connection is rarely made explicit and the underlying assumption is rarely tested. In this paper I first show how, under proportional selection, coeffcient movements, along with movements in R-squared values, can be used to calculate a measure of omitted variable bias. I then undertake two validation exercises. First, I relate maternal behavior on child birth weight and IQ. Simple controlled regressions give misleading estimates; estimates adjusted with a proportional selection adjustment fit significantly better. Second, I match observational and randomized trial data for 29 relationships in public health. I show that on average bias-adjusted coeffcients perform much better than simple controlled coeffcients and I suggest that a simple form of this adjustment could dramatically improve inference in many public health contexts
Anna Komnena by Emily Oster ( Book )
in German and held by 16 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Pregnancy by Numbers by Emily Oster ( Book )
1 edition published in 2013 in English and held by 11 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Expecting better : the surprising facts and essential truths of a healthy pregnancy by Emily Oster ( Book )
2 editions published in 2013 in English and held by 8 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
 
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Alternative Names
Fair Oster, Emily
Oster, Emily Fair
Languages
English (86)
German (2)