Modeling Area-Level Health Rankings

40 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2012 Last revised: 18 Sep 2013

See all articles by Charles Courtemanche

Charles Courtemanche

Georgia State University - Andrew Young School of Policy Studies

Samir Soneji

Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

Rusty Tchernis

Georgia State University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Date Written: September 11, 2013

Abstract

We propose a Bayesian factor analysis model to rank the health of localities. Mortality and morbidity variables empirically contribute to the resulting rank, and population and spatial correlation are incorporated into a measure of uncertainty. We use county-level data from Texas and Wisconsin to compare our approach to conventional rankings that assign deterministic factor weights and ignore uncertainty. Greater discrepancies in rankings emerge for Texas than Wisconsin since the differences between the empirically-derived and deterministic weights are more substantial. Uncertainty is evident in both states but becomes especially large in Texas after incorporating noise from imputing its considerable missing data.

Keywords: County, rank, health, factor analysis, Bayesian

JEL Classification: I14, C11

Suggested Citation

Courtemanche, Charles and Soneji, Samir and Tchernis, Rusty, Modeling Area-Level Health Rankings (September 11, 2013). Andrew Young School of Policy Studies Research Paper Series No. 12-14, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2043214 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2043214

Charles Courtemanche

Georgia State University - Andrew Young School of Policy Studies ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States
404-413-0082 (Phone)

Samir Soneji

Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth ( email )

1 Rope Ferry Road
Hanover, NH 03755-1404
United States

Rusty Tchernis (Contact Author)

Georgia State University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www2.gsu.edu/~ecort

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
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IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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Germany

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