The Effect of Superstition on Health: Evidence from the Taiwanese Ghost Month
FBK-IRVAPP is pleased to invite you to the following seminar:
“The Effect of Superstition on Health”
With the participation of: Martin Halla
Language The seminar is held in English.
Abstract Superstition is a widespread phenomenon. We empirically examine its impact on health-related behavior and health outcomes. We study the case of the Taiwanese Ghost Month. During this period, which is believed to increase the likelihood of bad outcomes, we observe substantial adaptions in health-related behavior. Our identification exploits idiosyncratic variation in the timing of the Ghost Month across Gregorian calendar years. Using high-quality administrative data, we document for the period of the Ghost Months reductions in mortality, hospital admissions, and births. While the effect on mortality is a quantum effect, the latter two effects reflect changes in the timing of events. These findings suggest potential benefits of including emotional and cultural factors in public health policy.
Martin HallaGuest SpeakerShort bio Martin Halla is currently Full Professor of Economics at the Johannes Kepler University (JKU) Linz, Austria; a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn, Germany; and a Permanent Scientific Consultant at the Austrian Public Health Institute in Vienna. He studied economics at the JKU Linz. After receiving his doctorate, he was a visiting scholar at Stockholm University and the University of California, Berkeley. After his habilitation he was Full Professor at the Vienna University of Economics and Business and the University of Innsbruck. In 2017, he returned to the JKU Linz, where he is now Head of the Institute of Economic Policy at the Department of Economics. In his research, he applies microeconometric methods to answer questions in the areas of family, labor, and health. His research has been published in leading general-interest and leading field journals. For further information see his private website: https://sites.google.com/site/mhalla1980/