2014-15 Economics Department Newsletter, Vol. 23
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Economics Department Newsletter

April 14, 2015
In This Edition:
  • Seminars
  • Fall 2015 Economics TAs - Applications Due April 15
  • Undergraduate Paper Competition
  • Employment Opportunities

Wednesday, April 15;  4:00pm, Griffin 6
Economics Department Seminar:  Does a ban on informal health providers save lives?  Evidence from Malawi by Susan Godlonton, Williams College

From the abstract:  "Informal health providers ranging from drug vendors to traditional healers account for a large fraction of health care consumption in developing countries. They are, however, largely unlicensed and unregulated leading to concern that they provide ineffective and, in some cases, even harmful care. A new and controversial policy tool that has been proposed to alter household health seeking behavior is an outright ban on these informal providers. The theoretical effects of such a ban are ambiguous. In this paper, we study the effect of a ban on informal (traditional) birth attendants imposed by the Malawi government in 2007. To measure the effect of the ban, we exploit variation across time and space in the intensity of exposure to the ban i.e., a difference-in-difference strategy. Our most conservative estimates suggest that the ban decreased use of traditional attendants by about 15 percentage points. Consistent with policy objectives, the ban shifted births to the formal sector, increasing use of formal sector providers by about 10 percentage points. The rest of the decrease is accounted for by an increase in the use of other informal substitutes, primarily relative-attended births. Despite the rather large shift from the informal to the formal sector, we find no evidence of a reduction in newborn deaths. This result is consistent with recent studies that argue that increasing the use of formal sector providers is, by itself, unlikely to result in significant improvements in health outcomes."


Monday, April 20;  4:00pm, Griffin 6
Economics Class of 1960 Scholars Seminar:  “The Economics of Student Loans: A Conversation with Sue Dynarski” by Susan Dynarski, University of Michigan

Reading materials: 

New York Times, Article #1 
New York Times, Article #2 
New York Times, Article #3 
Fall 2015 Economics TAs - Applications due April 15:

If you are interested in being a Teaching Assistant for the Economics Department in Fall 2015, please apply using the link below by Wednesday, April 15 at noon (12pm). We will not accept late applications. We will need TAs in ECON 110, 120, 205, 251, 252, 255, 501, 502, 503, 504 and POEC 253.  There may also be TA positions open in other economics classes.  

Please apply through the following

If you have difficulty completing the application or have questions about the process, please contact
Professor Schmidt.

Undergraduate Paper Competition: Best Undergraduate Paper Competition
Details for the Best Undergraduate Paper Competition have been announced by the International Atlantic Economic Society and can be found
Employment Opportunities:

Program Associate - Mathematica Policy Research
MPR has openings for an entry level Program Associate in four of their office locations:  Ann Arbor, MI;  Princeton, NJ;  Cambridge, MA; and Washington, DC.  Details can be found
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