Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Economics

Content Description

1 online resource (viii, 133 pages) : color illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Baris K Yoruk

Committee Members

Pinka Chatterji, Byoung Gun Park


Program Evaluation, Young adults, Risk-taking (Psychology), Drinking of alcoholic beverages, Alcoholism and crime, Evaluation, Marijuana

Subject Categories

Economics | Public Policy


I evaluate a wider range of public policies with program evaluation methods, difference-in-difference regression method and regression discontinuity design. The first chapter considers the causal relationship between the expansion on dependent coverage of the Affordable Care Act and risky behaviors including smoking and drinking. I also examine the effect of coverage on preventive care and health care utilization. To overcome the endogeneity problem, I exploit a regression discontinuity design to estimate the causal effect of losing health insurance. I find that young adults those who turned 26 are 8 to 10 percent more likely to lose health insurance than young adults under the age of 26. Despite the fact that young adults over age 26 are likely aged out of insurance coverage than young adults under age 26, young adults do not change their preventive care or health care utilization as well as their smoking and drinking behaviors around age 26. However, young adults turning 26 are less likely to see mental health professionals more than those who are under age 26.