June 28, 2024 Newsletter

Read all about PARC @ AcademyHealth and the latest news and publications from our Research Associates - and catch up on Dorothy Roberts keynote at the recent symposium on Genetic Ancestry and Perceptions of Race.

penn population studies newsletter

AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting

Come check out the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting hosted June 29th - July 2nd in Baltimore Maryland. Many of our PARC researchers have papers and posters being presented! We have gathered everything here for your convenience.







Xi Song Talks about Intergenerational Mobility at Home and Abroad, The Inequality Podcast

Xi Song details how intergenerational mobility declined in the United States after World War II but then dives further to explore the diversity of experiences for different groups. She discusses the trends in mobility as broken down by race, immigration status, and gender. 


"Xi Song on Intergenerational Mobility at Home and Abroad." The Inequality Podcast, October 23rd, 2023.

Xi Song

New Population Studies Working Paper

The research shows Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are linked to aging and affluence and have replaced infectious diseases and malnutrition as the dominant causes of ill health and death in much of the world including India. The present study examines rising rates of two NCDs heart disease and diabetes. The following questions are addressed: Why has the prevalence of these two NCDs risen in recent years, whether social protection policies and restructuring of medical services can mitigate such surges in the near future, and whether lifestyle and dietary changes could be induced to further prevent the rising burden of these NCDs.

Authors: Gaiha Raghav, Vidhya Unnikrishnan, Vani S. Kulkarni


Gaiha Raghav, Vidhya Unnikrishnan and Vani S. Kulkarni. 2024. “Is the Growing Burden of Non-Communicable Diseases in India Preventable?” University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC).

is the growing burden of NCDs in india preventable?

New Population Studies Working Paper

The research uses data from the Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health to examine the relationship between mortality and fertility in Malawi - specifically the impact of individual-specific subjective mortality expectations on fertility choice.


Authors: Adeline DelavandeHans-Peter Kohler, and Ali Vergili


For decades, population research has been interested in the complex relationship between child mortality and fertility, with a key focus on identifying replacement behavior (fertility response to experienced child mortality) and hoarding behavior (fertility response to expected child mortality). Using unique data from the Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health (MLSFH), we investigate the impact of individual-specific subjective infant mortality expectations on fertility choice. We instrument the potentially endogenous infant mortality expectations with the average of parents’ ratings of children’s health to address a potentially omitted variable bias such as parental taste for health. Consistent with the hoarding mechanism, we find that a 10 percentage point decrease in infant mortality expectations leads to a 14 percentage point decrease in the propensity to have a child in the next 2 years from a baseline propensity of 43%.


Delavande, Adeline, Hans-Peter Kohler and Ali Vergili. 2024. “Infant Mortality Expectation and Fertility Choice in Rural Malawi.” University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC)

Infant mortality expectation and fertility choice in rural Malawi

May 23, 2024 Newsletter

This newsletter includes congratulations for our spring graduates, a wrap up of the 2024 PARC Aging Retreat, upcoming events, news, and more!






Penn Population studies newsletter

John MacDonald's Research Inspires a Deeper Look into Crime Rate and Murals, Penn Today

After meeting John MacDonald, Maya Moritz, a criminology doctoral student, was inspired to investigate the correlation between murals and crime rate.


"Can More Art Equal Less Crime?" Penn Today, J Hill, May 23, 2024.

A Mural

Linda Aiken Covers Key Accomplishments From the Magnet4Europe Celebration Conference, Magnet4Europe

Linda Aiken, Co-Director of Magnet4Europe, shares highlights of the 2024 conference. Research presented at the conference showed that hospital conditions can be improved, and in doing so have great results.


"Magnet4Europe Celebration Conference 2024: A Milestone in Healthcare Excellence," Magnet4Europe, J Kleine, May 23, 2024.

paper graph

Dolores Albarracín Looks into What Interventions Work Best To Change Human Behavior, Penn Today

Dolores Albarracín, was featured in Penn Today for her research on determining change in human behavior. Albarracín and her team strive to find the science behind behavior change to determine the best ways to promote benefits in our daily lives.


"What Predicts Human Behavior and How to Change it," Penn Today, H Reissman, May 14, 2024.


D Albarracín, B Fayaz-Farkhad, J A Granados Samayoa. "Determinants of Behaviour and Their Efficacy as Targets of Behavioural Change Interventions," Nature Reviews Psychology.

Stacked Rocks

Jesus Fernandez Villaverde is Quoted Regarding Declining Population Rates Worldwide, Wall Street Journal

“The demographic winter is coming,” said Research Associate & Penn economist Jesús Fernández-Villaverde.


"Suddenly There Aren’t Enough Babies. The Whole World Is Alarmed." Wall Street Journal, G IP and J Adamy, May 13, 2024.


swaddled newborn infant

New Population Studies Working Paper

Researchers study how households have changed over time and the effect this has on our daily lives.

Authors: Effrosyni Adamopoulou, Jeremy Greenwood, and Nezih Guner

A brief historical overview of the household equipment revolution and the women who transformed the home in Germany and the United States.

Citation: Adamopoulou, Effrosyni, Jeremy Greenwood and Nezih Guner. 2024. “The Household Equipment Revolution.” University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC).


Household equipment revolution

Karen Lasater Covers The Real Cause For Nursing Staffing Issues, Stat News

"There isn’t a nursing shortage — it’s nurses’ refusal to be part of a system that puts profits before safety." Lasater says in her new article. 


"What nurses really want: sufficient staffing for patient care," Stat News, K Lasater, J Muir, May 10, 2024.


Reminder: The PARC Aging Retreat is happening this Friday!

Just a friendly reminder, the PARC Aging Retreat is happening this Friday! Take a look at the retreat program to see the agenda for the day.

You are invited to attend the 2024 PARC Aging Retreat"Healthy Aging for All -- Illusion or Promising Future?" This conference will bring together PARC Research Associates and aging researchers from across Penn and will include guests from other external aging centers. The Aging Retreat aims to foster collaborations for innovative aging research, provide networking opportunities, and encourage work that advances the PARC Research Themes. The hybrid day-long retreat will take place at the Population Studies Center's PSC Commons in 403 McNeil and will include keynote speeches by Jennifer Beam Dowd (University of Oxford) and Michael Kobor (University of British Columbia). PARC Research Associates, Affiliates, Fellows, and Penn aging researchers are encouraged to attend! If you haven't done so and plan to attend, REGISTER for the 2024 PARC Aging Retreat!

We look forward to seeing you on Friday!


Hans-Peter Kohler & Norma B. Coe
Co-Directors of PARC


Dolores Albarracín Has Been Elected To The American Academy Of Arts and Sciences, Penn Today

The Academy aims to tackle serious challenges in order to advance common goals. Albarracín among 5 others, has been elected into the honorary society.


"Five from Penn Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2024," Penn Today, E Moser, April 24, 2024.


Olivia Mitchell Quoted on The Importance Of Financial Literacy, Penn Today

“We see financial literacy much like other kinds of education. It takes time to learn financial concepts and to apply them, and sometimes it takes money so that you can hire someone or take a course or what have you. " Mitchell says.


"Wharton Experts on Financial Literacy," Penn Today, April 24, 2024.

wallet with money

Dennis Culhane Provided Insight on The Homeless Crisis, Penn Today

Culhane commented on the urgency of the homeless crisis, as well as provided his take on the problem.


"Investigating Homelessness,Penn Today, K García, April 23, 2024.

a city center

Dolores Albarracín Elected into the 2024 American Association for the Advancement of Science! Penn Today

The American Association for the Advancement of Science consists of 500 researches honored for their scientific achievements. Congrats Dolores


"Six from Penn elected 2024 AAAS Fellows," Penn Today, N Magubane, April 18, 2024.

Dolores Albarracín

Karen Lasater Quoted Regarding Hospital Staffing Problems, Penn Today

Karen Lasater says that poor working conditions for nurses has been an ongoing problem that predates the pandemic.


"Nurses across the U.S. cite employer failures as their top reason for leaving," Penn Today, April 12, 2024.


nurse holding clipboard

Ari Friedman Quoted on The Privacy of Medical Data Online, Penn LDI

 “It’s very hard to avoid tracking because it’s baked into the fabric of Web 2.0 at this point,” Friedman said regarding medical-care websites.


"Why Health Privacy Online Is a Myth," Penn LDI, N Stedman, April 12, 2024.

computer screen

Atheendar Venkataramani Co-Authored a Study on the Impact of Medicaid Expansion, Penn LDI

The study co-authored by Venkataramani found that lower-wage workers did not receive much economic benefit at all.


"Doctors, Nurses, and Managers Received Wage Hikes After Medicaid Expansion While Lower-Paid Workers Did Not," Penn LDI, M Meline, April 4, 2024.

grabbing a stethoscope

Pamela Cacchione Quoted on The Use Of Robot Seals in Hospitals, Technical.ly

“I thought these robots were the most ridiculous things I had ever seen,” Cacchione said, “until I actually picked one up and felt it and interacted with it myself.” 


"Baby seal robots are comforting older adults on Penn Presbyterian's acute care unit," Technical.ly, S Huffman, April 2, 2024.

A baby seal

Olivia Mitchell's Research Was Used to Compile 5 of The Biggest Regrets of Retirees, The Globe And Mail

The comprehensive list uses Mitchell's findings to dive deeper into what retirees wish they could have done sooner.


"5 Biggest Regrets of Retirees (Hint: Claiming Social Security Too Early Is One of Them)" The Globe And Mail, March 30, 2024.

Inspire, Aspire, Retire.

Chenoa Flippen is featured for the Immigration Policy Symposium, Penn Today

Penn Today features the Population Studies Center as the co-sponsor for the Symposium on Immigration Policy, and Chenoa Flippen as the event host. 


"Immigration Policy and the 2024 Presidential Election." Penn Today, K de Groot, March 25, 2024. 

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Olivia Mitchell Quoted on How Women Can Grow Wealth, Yahoo Finance

Mitchell explained that “This lack of financial literacy then translates into greater financial regret among older women” 


"4 Innovative Ways Woman Can Supplement Their Paychecks and Grow Wealth in 2024,"  Yahoo Finance, V Cariaga, March 25, 2024.


Upward Graph

Angela Duckworth Had A Conversation with the Author of The Book Nudge, Knowledge At Wharton

Duckworth was described by "Having spent years studying the best ways to Nudge people with choice-preserving but psychologically wise interventions to help them make better decisions." 


"Cass Sunstein on Nudging, Sludge, and the Power of ‘Dishabituation’," Knowledge At Wharton, A Basiouny, March 25, 2024."


Angela Lee Duckworth

A Study Done by Atheendar Venkataramani and Courtney Boen Shows the Effects Incarceration Rates Have on The Population, Penn LDI

The study found that increased incarceration rates had a noticeable effect on the birth weight of newborns. Both Boen as well as Venkataramani found that incarceration rates do have a direct impact on the overall health of the population.


"How Are Infant Outcomes for Black Babies Affected by Incarceration Policy," Penn LDI, K Kamara, March 20, 2024.

Mother holding baby

Irma Elo is named Tamsen and Michael Brown Presidential Professor in Sociology, Penn SAS News

Penn SAS News features Irma Elo for being appointed as Tamsen and Michael Brown Presidential Professor. 


"Irma Elo Named Tamsen and Michael Brown Presidential Professor in Sociology." Penn SAS News, March 19, 2024. 

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Scott Halpern Quoted on Inclusion In The Research Process, Penn LDI

“Many of our researchers and staff were actively looking for ways to respond and recognized the need for greater emphasis on justice and inclusion in our own research processes." said Halpern.


"Adding Diversity to Your Research Process: A New System,Penn LDI, H Levins, March 18, 2024.


Sample Under Microscope

Allison Hoffman Quoted on Insurance Policies, KFF Health News

State and federal regulators have the authority to regulate insurers’ networks and could end the practice, Hoffman said. But until now “there hasn’t been federal regulation about continuity of coverage,” Hoffman said.


"How Your In-Network Health Coverage Can Vanish Before You Know It," KFF Health News, E Rosenthal, March 15. 2024.

Health insurance

March 14, 2024 Newsletter

Take a look at the Penn Population Studies Newsletter for upcoming events, new PARC research associates, and researchers featuring in news articles. 

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Linda Aiken Quoted on the Relation between Healthcare Working Conditions and Mortality Rate, EuroNews.Health

“Nurses want to leave their jobs when care conditions are poor and those same unfavorable care conditions are not good for patients either,” said Aiken. Aiken then explains how the pandemic has effected our healthcare system long term.


"Study Links Nurses' Intention to Quit Jobs to Higher Patient Mortality for the First Time," EuroNews.Health, L Chadwick, March 14, 2024.

Mask And Stethoscope with hearts.

Guy David and Alon Bergman's new study is featured, Penn LDI

Penn LDI highlights a study conducted by research associates at PARC, Guy David and Alon Bergman, revealing that advanced care is less prevalent in communities characterized by greater deprivation. 


"Do Wealth and Poverty Affect Access to Less-Invasive Cardiac Surgery?" Penn LDI, C Tachibana, March 13, 2024. 

G David, A Bergman, et al. “Limited Access to Aortic Valve Procedures in Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Areas,” Journal of the American Heart Association. 

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Eric Bressman and Rachel Werners's new study is featured, Penn LDI

Penn LDI presents an opinion piece authored by Eric Bressman, a research associate at PARC, discussing a recent study concerning the expiration of state licensure. Bressman collaborated on this study with Rachel Werner


"A Big Boost for Patients That Largely Went Away: Telemedicine Made Care More Available During the Pandemic." Penn LDI, E Bressman, March 11, 2024.

E Bressman, R M Werner, et al. “Expiration of State Licensure Waivers and Out-of-State Telemedicine Relationships,JAMA Network Open. 

" "

Professor Behram Earned A Spot In the Top 100 Economics And Econometrics Scientists 2024!

The AD Scientific Index has ranked Jere R. Behrman among the world's Top 100 Economics and Econometrics Scientists for 2024! He's #31in the world ranking, see how his other stats shake out here.

Citations: "Professors Behrman and Diebold, faulty in the department, are in AD World top 100 Economics and Econometrics Scientists 2024." Penn Economics, Marc 11, 2024.

Jere R. Behrman

Rachel Werner and Mary Ersek discuss the Medicare Hospice program, Penn LDI

Penn LDI features Rachel Werner and Mary Ersek on the virtual panel of experts exploring the benefit’s, challenges, and potential of the Medicare Hospice program. 


"Medicare Hospice – Exploding in Size But Riddled with Quality Concerns." Penn LDI, H Levins, March 8, 2024. 

"Medicare Hospice Program," LDIvideo, Youtube, March 8, 2024. 


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Eugenia South's study on black patients feeling dismissed is featured, Penn LDI

Penn LDI features a study by Eugenia South that gathers personal experiences to aid the dismantling of structural racism in medicine. 


"Black Patients Feel Dismissed and Skeptical After Their Experiences in the ED." Penn LDI, M Meline, March 8, 2024.

E C South, et al. "Perspectives of Black Patients on Racism Within Emergency Care," JAMA Health Forum. 

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Rachel Werner and Norma Coe's new study is featured, Penn LDI

Penn LDI features the new study by Rachel Werner and Norma Coe, that examined data on over 2 million Medicare beneficiaries who had knee or hip replacements, among the most common surgeries. They found that the switch to bundled payments caused a 9% to 15% increase in the need for additional help with daily tasks after paid home health services ended. 


"Medicare Payment Reform Saves Money on Surgeries But Puts More Work on Unpaid Home Caregivers." Penn LDI, J Hinckley & H Levins, March 6, 2024. 

R M Werner, N B Coe, et al. "The Effects of Post-Acute Care Payment Reform on the Need for and Receipt of Caregiving," American Journal of Health Economics. 

"Increasing the Burden on Unpaid Home Caregivers," YouTube, LDIvideo, February 29, 2024. 


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Olivia Mitchell Quoted on Financial Literacy in Highschool Students, MarketWatch

“Financial education is most effective when there is a rigorous curriculum, a specific course devoted to personal finance (rather than embedding these concepts into other classes), and trained teachers,” said Mitchell in a Journal Article last fall.


"More high schools ae requiring financial-literacy classes. The pandemic may have played a key role.MarketWatch, A Keshner, March 6, 2024.

Chalk on a chalk board

Olivia Mitchell Discussed Financial Literacy In The Workplace, MarketWatch

“A goal would be for employers to offer more access and, when possible, encouragement to learn and implement important financial lessons during the worklife,” Mitchell said. 


"Wage Gap Statistics: The Numbers Behind Pay Disparity,MarketWatch, R Henderson, T Addison, March 6, 2024.

Change On a table

Angela Lee Duckworth's new study is featured, Penn Today & Knowledge at Wharton

Penn Today and Knowledge at Wharton features Angela Lee Duckworth for her new study on that found that breaking down a commitment to volunteer 200 hours per year for a nonprofit into smaller subgoals increased the amount of time volunteers spent helping by 7-8% over several months. 


"Want to Achieve Your Dreams? Try Subdividing Your Goals." Knowledge at Wharton, S Murray, March 4, 2024.

"Want to Achieve Your Dreams? Try Subdividing Your Goals." Penn Today, S Murray, March 8, 2024. 

A L Duckworth, et al. "A Field Experiment on Subgoal Framing to Boost Volunteering: The Trade-Off between Goal Granularity and Flexibility," American Psychological Association

" "

Tukufu Zuberi at the 2nd Annual W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture in Public Social Science, Penn Today

Penn Today and Annenberg School for Communication highlights Tukufu Zuberi at the 2nd Annual W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture in Public Social Science, discussing Du Bois’ contributions to the field and to humanity.


"The Legacy of W.E.B. Du Bois: ‘Something Fresh to Say’." Penn Today, K García, February 27, 2024.

"The Legacy of W.E.B. Du Bois: ‘Something Fresh to Say’." Annenberg School for Communication, K García, March 1, 2024.


" "

Rachel Werner is quoted on funding for long-term care, Yahoo Finance

Yahoo Finance quotes research associate Rachel Werner on funding for long-term care. Werner says, "In the United States, we lack any sort of comprehensive approach to funding for long-term care."


"Most Americans Flunk When it Comes to Retirement Literacy, Study Finds." Yahoo Finance, K Hannon, February 24, 2024. 

" "

Karen Lasater is quoted on nursing shortage problems, NPR

NPR features research associate Karen Lasater talking about nursing shortage problems in hospitals. She says that the nursing shortage is not a pipeline problem, but a leaky bucket problem.


"After His Wife Died, He Joined Nurses to Push for New Staffing Rules in Hospitals." NPR, K Wells, February 22, 2024. 

" "

Olivia Mitchell is on the Wharton Business Daily show, Knowledge at Wharton

Knowledge at Wharton features executive director of Wharton’s Pension Research Council Olivia Mitchell joining the show to discuss why retirement gets better with annuities.


"Why You Should Consider Deferred Income Annuities for Your Retirement Portfolio." Knowledge at Wharton, D Loney, February 22, 2024. 

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February 21, 2024 Newsletter

The new  Penn Population Studies Newsletter highlights researches in the news, awards received by researchers, new working papers, and some exciting events coming up. 

" "

Dorothy Roberts is quoted on coerced home searches, Mother Jones

Mother Jones quotes Dorothy Roberts on coerced home searches. Roberts says "Coerced home searches, invasion of families’ privacy, and threatening parents with child removal are integral aspects of a system designed to disrupt the most marginalized communities in America." 


"Parents Are Suing New York City Over Coercive, Traumatizing Home Searches." Mother Jones, J Lurie, February 21, 2024.


" "

Olivia Mitchell is referenced on Companies owing retirees, The Atlantic

The Atlantic features Olivia Mitchell in an article discussing what companies owe retirees. 


"What Companies Owe Retirees." The Atlantic, L Kelley, February 20, 2024. 

" "

Duncan Watts' new study is featured, Penn Today & Annenberg School for Communication

Penn Today and the Annenberg School for Communication features Duncan Watts for his new study. The study from the Computational Social Science Lab finds that the YouTube recommendation system is less influential on users’ political views than is commonly believed. 


"The YouTube Algorithm Isn’t Radicalizing People.Annenberg School for Communication, H Reissman & D Gardiner, February 19, 2024. 

"The YouTube Algorithm Isn’t Radicalizing People." Penn Today, H Reissman & D Gardiner, February 20, 2024. 

D J Watts, et al. "Causally Estimating the Effect of YouTube’s Recommender System Using Counterfactual Bots," PNAS.

" "

Rachel Werner op-ed on Medicare and Medicaid data security, STAT

STAT features Rachel Werner discussing the tension between data security and research accessibility, highlighting the concerns over the new CMS rules implemented. 


"New CMS Rules Will Throttle Access Researchers Need to Medicare, Medicaid Data." STAT, R M Werner, February 20, 2024. 

" "

Nancy Hodgson and Adriana Perez's study is highlighted, Penn LDI

Penn LDI features the study by Nancy Hodgson and Adriana Perez that highlights the effect confident caregivers may have on family members. 


"Caregiver Mastery May Help Lower Anxiety For The Cognitively Impaired." Penn LDI, N Browning, February 14, 2024. 

N Hodgson, A Perez, et al. "Better Caregiver Mastery is Associated with Less Anxiety in Individuals with Cognitive Impairment," BMC Nursing. 

" "

Eugenio Paglino, Irma Elo, and Samuel Preston's new study is featured, Penn Today

Penn Today highlights a new study by Eugenio Paglino, Irma Elo, and Samuel Preston on the relation between natural and Covid-19 deaths. 


"Researchers Find Many ‘Natural’ and COVID-19 Deaths Likely Related." Penn Today, N Magubane, February 14, 2024. 

E Paglino, I T Elo, S H Preston, et al. "Excess Natural-Cause Mortality in US Counties and Its Association with Reported COVID-19 Deaths," PNAS. 

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February 14, 2024 Newsletter

Take a look at the Penn Population Studies Newsletter for upcoming events, recent publications by PSC and PARC research associates, and researchers featuring in news articles. 

" "

Eric Roberts' new study on changes in care is featured, Penn LDI

Penn LDI features research associate Eric Roberts' new study that finds modest improvements from integrated care for dual-eligible beneficiaries. 


"People on Both Medicare and Medicaid Should Get Better Care, But They Don’t." Penn LDI, J Hinckley, February 13, 2024. 

E T Roberts, et al. “Changes in Care Associated with Integrating Medicare and Medicaid for Dual-Eligible Individuals,” JAMA Health Forum. 

" "

Dorothy Roberts talks about the death of a 10-year-old Oʻahu girl, Hawaii Public Radio

Hawaii Public Radio features Dorothy Roberts talking about the death of a 10-year-old Oʻahu girl, who officials say was abused and starved by her legal guardians. 


"A Critique of the Child Welfare System after Death of 10-Year-Old Girl." Hawaii Public Radio, C Cruz, February 13, 2024. 


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Courtney Boen is featured as Taussia Boadi's thesis advisor, Penn Today

Penn Today features Courtney Boen as the thesis advisor of Taussia Boadi. Their research looks at the relationship between adverse childhood experiences, birth outcomes, and resilience in Black women.


"Who, What, Why: Taussia Boadi on Trauma and Black Maternal Health." Penn Today, K d Groot, February 12, 2024. 

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Kevin Volpp to collaborate with Wharton Healthcare Analytics Lab, Penn LDI

Penn LDI highlights that Wharton Healthcare Analytics Lab will be collaborating with Kevin Volpp, and his team at the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics to integrate dynamic adaptation and personalization into clinical trials. 


"Going Head-to-Head with the New Health Care AI Revolution." Penn LDI, H Levins, February 12, 2024.


" "

Atheendar Venkataramani's new study on Black Adults is featured, Penn Today

Penn Today features Atheendar Venkataramani for finding that black adults across the U.S. suffer from sleep problems following exposure to news about unarmed black individuals killed by police during police encounters.


"Killings of Unarmed Black People and Racial Disparities in Sleep Health." Penn Today, E Horvath, February 8, 2024. 

A S Venkataramani, e al. "Officer-Involved Killings of Unarmed Black People and Racial Disparities in Sleep Health," JAMA Internal Medicine. 

" "

Helene Purcell co-authors a paper on Conscientiousness Matters

Postdoctoral fellow Helene Purcell co-authored a paper along with Justine Herve and Sneha Mani

Abstract: Personality traits play an important role in shaping labor market outcomes, but the associated behaviors that lead to these differences are understudied. In this paper, we examine the returns to the Big Five personality traits as well as the mechanisms through which personality affects employment and earnings. We find conscientiousness to be a significant predictor of both employment and earnings. We further show that the association between conscientiousness and earnings operates primarily through one specific behavior, namely, higher work intensity. Additionally, we are able to rule out selection into specific job types as potential channels for the positive relationship between conscientiousness and earnings.

Herve, Justine, Helene Purcell, and Subha Mani. 2023. “Conscientiousness Matters: How Does Personality Affect Labor Market Outcomes?University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC)


" "

Jeremy Greenwood co-authors a paper on the Role of Friends in the Opioid Epidemic

Research Associate Jeremy Greenwood co-authors a paper along with Effrosyni AdamopoulouNezih Guner, and Karen Kopecky

Abstract: The role of friends in the US opioid epidemic is examined. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (Add Health), adults aged 25-34 and their high school best friends are focused on. An instrumental variable technique is employed to estimate peer effects in opioid misuse. Severe injuries in the previous year are used as an instrument for opioid misuse in order to estimate the causal impact of someone misusing opioids on the probability that their best friends also misuse. The estimated peer effects are significant: Having a best friend with a reported serious injury in the previous year increases the probability of own opioid misuse by around 7 percentage points in a population where 17 percent ever misuses opioids. The effect is driven by individuals without a college degree and those who live in the same county as their best friends.

Adamopoulou, Effrosyni, Jeremy Greenwood, Nezih Guner, and Karen Kopecky. 2024. “The Role of Friends in the Opioid Epidemic.” University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC).

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Jere Behrman co-authors a paper on Female Headship and Poverty in the Arab Region

Research Associate Jere Behrman co-authors a paper with Shireen AlAzzawiHai-Anh DangVladimir Hlasny, and Kseniya Abanokova

Abstract: Various challenges are thought to render female-headed households (FHHs) vulnerable to poverty in the Arab region. Yet, previous studies have mixed results and the absence of household panel survey data hinders analysis of poverty dynamics. We address these challenges by proposing a novel typology of FHHs and analyze synthetic panels that we constructed from 20 rounds of repeated cross-sectional surveys spanning the past two decades from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Mauritania, Palestine, and Tunisia. We find that the definition of FHHs matters for measuring poverty levels and dynamics. Most types of FHHs are less poor than non-FHHs on average, but FHHs with a major share of female adults are generally poorer. FHHs are more likely to escape poverty than households on average, but FHHs without children are most likely to do so. While more children are generally associated with more poverty for FHHs, there is heterogeneity across countries in addition to heterogeneity across FHH measures. Our findings provide useful inputs for social protection and employment programs aiming at reducing gender inequalities and poverty in the Arab region.

AlAzzawi, Shireen, Hai-Anh Dang, Vladimir Hlasny, Kseniya Abanokova, and Jere Behrman. 2023. “Female Headship and Poverty in the Arab Region: Analysis of Trends and Dynamics Based on A New Typology.” University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC).

" "

Jere Behrman co-authors a paper on Minimum Wages and Intergenerational Health

Research Associate Jere Behrman co-authors a paper along with Muhammad Farhan Majid and Hanna Wang

Abstract: Most minimum wage (MW) research focuses on wage and employment impacts in high-income countries. Little is known about broader impacts, including on parental and child health in low- and middle- income countries (LMICs) where most people affected by MWs live. This study studies MW effects on employment, earnings, parental health and child health in Indonesia, the third most-populous LMIC. Results include: MWs improve men’s earnings, parental hemoglobin, and child height-for age and reduce pregnancy complications. This study highlights nuanced but positive roles MWs may play in improving parental and child health, despite not directly affecting women’s earnings and labor supplies.

Majid, Farhan, Jere R. Behrman, and Hanna Wang. 2023. “Minimum Wages and Intergenerational Health.” University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC).

" "

Min Kim authors a paper on financial literacy

Min Kim writes a paper on Financial Literacy, Portfolio Choice, and Wealth Inequality.

Abstract: I develop a general equilibrium model in which households allocate their wealth to safe and risky assets (“bonds” and “stocks”) and accumulate financial literacy to raise their risk-adjusted stock returns. Calibrated to match financial literacy and stock market participation rate of U.S. households, the model demonstrates that a policy subsidizing financial literacy acquisition increases short-run stock investments. In equilibrium, however, the resulting aggregate capital growth lowers the average equity premium, thereby moderating the subsidy’s impact. The policy mitigates wealth inequality by inducing heterogeneous portfolio adjustments across the wealth distribution. With the subsidy, the middle wealth quartiles acquire more financial literacy and shift their portfolios toward stocks. The top quartile attains its maximum literacy level prior to the subsidy and shifts toward bonds to compensate for lower stock returns. The ratio of total wealth held by the top quartile versus the rest of the population decreases.

Kim, Min. 2023. “Financial Literacy, Portfolio Choice, and Wealth Inequality: A General Equilibrium Approach.University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC).

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Linda Aiken talks about the late Claire Fagin, Medpage Today

Medpage Today features Linda Aiken talking about the late Claire Fagin. She says she was a "nurse visionary with the savvy to make things happen". 


"Nurse Community Mourns 'Trailblazer' Claire Fagin, PhD, RN." Medpage Today, S Firth, February 6, 2024. 

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Petra Todd Co-Authors a paper on understanding gender disparities in STEM majors and occupations

Research Associate Petra Todd co-authors a paper along with Shasha Wang.

Abstract: In the US, women for decades have gone to college at higher rates than men, but they are less likely to choose applied-STEM college majors or occupations. Using the NLSY79 and 97 datasets, this paper assesses the importance of adolescent skills and high school course-taking in explaining gender disparities in four-year college completion, college major, and occupational choice. It considers five cognitive skill areas (math, verbal, science, administrative, and mechanical) and one non-cognitive measure and examines how gender skill gaps evolve over a twenty-year time span. Logistic, CART and nonparametric random forest models are estimated to identify the skill sets, course-taking and family background characteristics that best predict educational and occupational choices. Results show that women are on average on par with men in mathematics skills and exceed men in verbal and noncognitive skills, but they lag behind in mechanical and, to a lesser extent, science skills. Estimates show that a combination of mathematics and mechanical skills along with intensive high school exposure to science and math courses are key predictors of choosing applied-STEM majors and careers. This paper also develops and implements a nonparametric decomposition approach to quantify how eliminating adolescent gender skill disparities would affect women’s and men’s entry into STEM fields.

Todd, Petra E. and Shasha Wang. 2023. “Understanding Gender Disparities in STEM Major and Occupation Choices: A Random Forest Approach.” University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC).


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Nancy Hodgson and Adriana Perez's new study is featured, Penn Nursing

Penn Nursing features the new study by Nancy Hodgson and Adriana Perez that shows promising results in improving the quality of life (QOL) and sleep quality in individuals living with memory problems. 


"Improving Quality of Life and Sleep in People with Memory Problems Without Using Drugs." Penn Nursing, February 5, 2024. 

N Hodgson, A Perez, et al. "Timed Activity to Minimize Sleep Disturbance in People With Cognitive Impairment," Innovation in Aging

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Atheendar Venkataramani's new study is highlighted, Penn Medicine

Penn Medicine features Atheendar Venkataramani's research that found statistically significant decreases in sleep duration among Black adults, after exposure to deaths of unarmed Black individuals during police encounters.


"Black Adults Across the U.S. Suffer From Sleep Problems Following Exposure to News About Unarmed Black Individuals Killed by Police During Police Encounters." Penn Medicine, February 5, 2024. 

A S Venkataramani, et al. "Officer-Involved Killings of Unarmed Black People and Racial Disparities in Sleep Health," JAMA Internal Medicine. 

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Scott Halpern's team receives a grant, Penn Medicine

Penn Medicine showcases Scott Halpern and his leadership in a project within the scientist training program, which aims to enhance patient-centered research and care, receiving a $5 million boost.


"Scientist Training Program Aimed at Improving Patient-Centered Research and Care Gets $5 Million Boost." Penn Medicine, February 1, 2024. 

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Dorothy Roberts addresses the question: Are Civil Rights Enough? Penn Today

Penn Today highlights research associate Dorothy Roberts addressing the question on civil rights being enough, during the 23rd annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture in Social Justice. 


"‘Are Civil Rights Enough?’" Penn Today, K Garcia, January 31, 2024. 

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Duncan Watts' study on Common sense is featured, Knowledge at Wharton

Knowledge at Wharton features Duncan Watts for his study on quantifying individual and collective common sense. 


"What Is Common Sense?" Knowledge at Wharton, N Magubane, January 30, 2024. 

D J Watts, et al. "A Framework For Quantifying Individual and Collective Common Sense," PNAS. 

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Kimberly Waddell and Robert Burke's study is featured, Penn LDI

Medicare rules need updating to ensure patients get care when they need it. Penn LDI features Kimberly Waddell and Robert Burke's study. 


"Timely Doctor Visits Linked to Better Outcomes When Patients Enter a Skilled Nursing Facility." Penn LDI, K Kamara, January 29, 2024. 

K J Waddell, R E Burke, et al. "Association Between Timing of Clinical Evaluation by a Physician or Advanced Practitioner and Risk of Rehospitalization in Older Adults Admitted to a Skilled Nursing Facility Following Hospitalization: A Cohort Study," Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. 

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Peter Groeneveld's study on medicaid expansion is featured, Penn LDI

Penn LDI features Peter Groeneveld's study revealing how the affordable care act has helped improve cardiovascular outcomes. 


"Expanded Medicaid Spurs Patient Visits for Heart Care." Penn LDI, J F Wilson, January 25, 2024.

P Groeneveld, et al. "Medicaid Expansion and Outpatient Cardiovascular Care Use Among Low-Income Nonelderly Adults, 2012-15," Health Affairs. 

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January 23, 2024 Newsletter

Check out the first Penn Population Studies Newsletter of 2024. This newsletter showcases researchers featured in the news, upcoming events such as PARC aging chats and the aging retreat, updates on the PSC Colloquium Series, and information on the Quartet Pilot Research Project Competition.

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Duncan Watts address a critical gap in how knowledge is understood, Penn Today

Penn Today features research associate Duncan Watts for his study on individual and collective common sense. 


"The Commonalities of Common Sense." Penn Today, N Magubane, January 23, 2024. 

D J Watts, et al. "A Framework for Quantifying Individual and Collective Common Sense," PNAS. 

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Hans-Peter Kohler and Iliana V. Kohler are featured for their research in Malawi, Penn Today

Penn Today highlights PARC and PSC research associates Hans-Peter Kohler and Iliana V. Kohler for the two-and-a-half decades of research in Malawi. As the country’s life expectancy has risen, the Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health has shifted its current and future research to aging.


"Two-And-A-Half Decades of Research in Malawi." Penn Today, E Moser, January 22, 2024. 


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Scott Halpern's study on Palliative care is featured, Healthday

Healthday quotes PARC research associate Scott Halpern for his study on Palliative care. 


"Ordering Palliative Care Consult by Default Increases Rate of Consultation." Healthday, E Gotkine, January 22, 2024. 

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Kevin Volpp Quoted on Behavior Change Goal Gradients, Time

“Coaches try to break goals down to a point that the first levels of goal achievement are almost guaranteed… Psychologists call this goal gradients—the idea that people work much harder to achieve goals that are seen as being in reach.” Volpp said. 


"How AI Can Help Humans Become More Human," Time, A Huffington, January 22, 2024.


Paula Fomby is quoted on contraception, Parents

Parents quotes research associate Paula Fomby on contraceptive methods. 


"American Families Will Shrink in the Near Future, New Study Says." Parents, B A Mayer, January 19, 2024. 

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Scott Damrauer is elected as a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, Penn Medicine

Penn Medicine features Scott Damrauer as one of the six physician-scientists from the University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who have been elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation.


"American Society For Clinical Investigation Elects Six New Members From Penn, CHOP." Penn Medicine, January 19, 2024. 

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Olivia Mitchell is quoted on financial literacy, MarketWatch

MarketWatch quotes Olivia Mitchell, stating that individuals experiencing loneliness or depression are significantly more susceptible to falling victim to fraud.


"A Rude Awakening: Lack of Financial Literacy Hurts The Young. What About Older People?" MarketWatch, M Stettner, January 18, 2024. 


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Courtney Boen is featured for her study on Racial Health Disparities, Penn LDI

Penn LDI features Courtney Boen's research, which illuminates the health consequences of a Racialized Society and explores potential strategies for mitigation. 


"How Racism “Gets Under the Skin” and Prematurely Ages Black People." Penn LDI, C Tachibana & H Levins, January 17, 2024. 

"Biological Age vs. Chronological Age: The Racial Health Disparities." Youtube, LDIvideo. 

C Boen, et al. “Patterns and Life Course Determinants of Black-White Disparities in Biological Age Acceleration: A Decomposition Analysis,” Demography. 

C Boen, et al. "Death by a Thousand Cuts: Stress Exposure and Black–White Disparities in Physiological Functioning in Late Life," Oxford Journals. 

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Scott Halpern and Mary Ersek's study on Palliative care is featured, Penn LDI

Penn LDI features Scott Halpern and Mary Ersek's study showing a simple intervention improving end-of-life care for seriously ill patients. 


"Chart of the Day: Default Orders Increased Palliative Care Consultations But Did Not Shorten Hospital Stays for Older Patients." Penn LDI, C Weeks, January 16, 2024. 

M Ersek, S D Halpern, et al. "Default Palliative Care Consultation for Seriously Ill Hospitalized Patients: A Pragmatic Cluster Randomized Trial," JAMA. 

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Scott Halpern's study on Palliative Care is the largest study ever, Penn Medicine

Penn Medicine highlights the palliative care study conducted by Scott Halpern as the largest ever study demonstrating scalable strategies to increase support for serious patients. 


"Largest-Ever Study of Palliative Care Demonstrates Scalable Strategy to Increase Support For Seriously Ill Patients in the Hospital." Penn Medicine, January 16, 2024. 

S D Halpern, et al. "Default Palliative Care Consultation for Seriously Ill Hospitalized Patients," JAMA. 

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Dolores Albarracín's new report is featured, Annenberg School for Communication

Annenberg School for Communication highlights a new report by Dolores Albarracín on identifying effective ways to halt the spread of misinformation online, including debunking and “prebunking".


"Eight Ways To Prevent and Fight Health Misinformation, Backed by Psychological Science." Annenberg School for Communication, H Reissman, January 15, 2024. 

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Dolores Albarracín shows What Could Move the Needle on Climate, Penn LDI

Penn LDI highlights Dolores Albarracín shedding light on a new factor in understanding how people think of climate change: exposure to record-breaking heat.


"Navigating Climate Perceptions Through Communication Strategies." Penn LDI, M Bolas, Januray 11, 2024.

D Albarracin, et al. "Record-Breaking Heat Days Disproportionately Influence Heat Perceptions," Scientific Reports. 

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Sarah Tishkoff's study on Genomic Analyses is featured, Penn Today

Penn Today features Sarah Tishkoff's study to offer a better understanding of genes and variants responsible for skin color, providing insights into human evolution and local adaptation.


"A Molecular Look at The Mechanisms Behind Pigmentation Variation." Penn Today, N Magubane, January 11, 2024. 

S Tishkoff, et al. "Integrative Functional Genomic Analyses Identify Genetic Variants Influencing Skin Pigmentation in Africans," Nature Genetics. 

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Hans-Peter Kohler co-authors a paper on how to survive bad news

Research Associate Hans-Peter Kohler co-authors a paper along with Alberto Ciancio, Fabrice Kampfen, and Rebecca Thornton

Abstract: Providing personal health information allows individuals to take action to improve their health. If treatment is not available, however, being informed about having a life-threatening disease could lead to feelings of despair or fatalistic behaviors resulting in negative health outcomes. We document this possibility utilizing an experiment in Malawi that randomized incentives to learn HIV testing results in a context where anti-retroviral treatment (ART) was not yet available. Six years after the experiment, receiving an HIV+ diagnosis reduced survival rates by 23% points and this effect persists after 15 years. We show that HIV+ persons who learned they were HIV+ engaged in more risky health behaviors, have greater anxiety and a higher discount rate. We do not find any effects of receiving an HIV - diagnosis on survival.

Ciancio, Alberto, Fabrice Kämpfen, Hans-Peter Kohler, and Rebecca Thornton. 2024. “Surviving Bad News: Health Information without Treatment Options.” University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC).

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Olivia Mitchell's study on Fixed and Variable Longevity Annuities in Defined Contribution Plans is featured, Knowledge at Whartont

Knowledge at Wharton highlights Olivia Mitchell's study making a case for deferred income annuities with some equity exposure in defined contribution plans.


"Why Retirement Gets Better With Annuities." Knowledge at Wharton, S Parameshwaran, January 9, 2024. 

O S Mitchell, et al. “Fixed and Variable Longevity Annuities in Defined Contribution Plans: Optimal Retirement Portfolios Taking Social Security into Account,” Wharton Pension Research Council. 

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Rachel Werner is highlighted for her interaction with WPR, Wisconsin Public Radio

Wisconsin Public Radio features Rachel Werner's interaction with the WPR'S "The Morning Show". 


"Froedtert Hospital Planning 9-Story Patient Tower at Wauwatosa Campus." Wisconsin Public Radio, C Hess, January 9, 2024. 

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Dennis Culhane is quoted Modern Homelessness, The New York Times

The New York Times features research associate Dennis Culhane for his study on modern homelessness. 



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Catherine Auriemma and Guy David's projects have received the 2024 PENN LDI Small Grants Program, Penn LDI

Penn LDI highlights the projects of Catherine Auriemma and Guy David for the Penn LDI small grants program in 2024.

Catherine Auriemma leads the project titled "Identifying Meaningful Outcome Metrics in Severe Brain Injury" as the Principal Investigator.

Guy David serves as the Co-Investigator for the project titled "Access to Elective Surgery in the United States: Evidence from the Outpatient Surgery Market."


"Penn LDI Small Grants Program 2024 Projects." Penn LDI, January 2024. 

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Research Blogs that Caught your attention, Penn LDI

Penn LDI highlights health policy research blogs featuring PARC and PSC associates. 


"LDI Research Blogs That Caught Your Attention in 2023." Penn LDI, K Kamara & M Bolas, January 3, 2024. 

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News that caught your attention, Penn LDI

Penn LDI showcases attention-grabbing news articles that spotlight some of the PARC and PSC research associates. 


"LDI News That Caught Your Attention in 2023." Penn LDI, H Levins, January 3, 2024. 

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Dennis Culhane Points to Chaotic Relocation of Migrants, Penn LDI

Responding to the release of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) 2023 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress that cited a “record level” of homelessness, Penn LDI highlights Dennis Culhane pointing out to the New York Times that the “record” “is partly a manufactured problem.”


"Homelessness Across U.S. Hit Record Level in 2023." Penn LDI, H Levins, January 3, 2024. 


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