Theses Doctoral

Consequence and Policy Response of Health-Induced Poverty among Older Adults: Evidence from the United States and China

Zhang, Yalu

This dissertation aimed to examine the consequence of health-induced poverty and two policy responses to address this issue among older adults in the United States and China. Specifically, Paper I investigates whether public transfers crowded out private transfers among rural and urban Chinese older families and if this dynamic would change when health care expenses were high. Paper II examines the effect of New Rural Cooperative Medical Insurance, a national health insurance program for rural residents in China, on changing the incidence of health-induced poverty among middle-aged and older beneficiaries. Paper III tests the effects of closing the Medicare Part D donut hole (coverage gap) through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on changing prescription drug cost-induced poverty. Overall, the findings obtained from these three papers provide empirical evidence that health-induced poverty is prevalent among older adults in both China and the United States and the current public transfers and health policies are either ineffective or insufficient to reduce health-induced poverty as intended.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Social Work
Thesis Advisors
Gao, Qin
Allen, Heidi L.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 19, 2020