A Cross-Country Comparison of Dynamics in the Large Firm Wage Premium
Emanuele Colonnelli, Joacim Tåg, Michael Webb, Stefanie Wolter
Forthcoming in AEA Papers and Proceedings, May 2018
We provide stylized facts on the existence and dynamics over time of the large firm wage premium for four countries. We examine matched employer-employee micro-data from Brazil, Germany, Sweden, and the UK, and find that the large firm premium exists in all these countries. However, we uncover substantial differences among them in the evolution of the wage premium over the past several decades. Moreover, we find no clear evidence of common cross-country industry trends. We conclude by discussing potential explanations for this heterogeneity, and proposing some questions for future work in the area.
Effectiveness of Dietary Policies to Reduce Noncommunicable Diseases
Ashkan Afshin, Renata Micha, Michael Webb, Simon Capewell, Laurie Whitsel, Adolfo Rubinstein, Dorairaj Prabhakaran, Marc Suhrcke, and Dariush Mozaffarian
In Disease Control Priorities (third edition): Volume 5, Cardiovascular, Respiratory, and Related Disorders, edited by D. Prabhakaran, S. Anand, T. A. Gaziano, J.-C. Mbanya, Y. Wu, and R. Nugent. Washington, DC: World Bank. November 2017.
This chapter reports that in nearly every region, suboptimal diet remains the leading risk factor for poor health; hunger and malnutrition result in substantial burdens and contribute to the incidence and prevalence of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Specific population interventions, including taxation and subsidies, food regulations, mass media campaigns, and school and workplace interventions, appear effective in improving diet, and many such interventions may prove highly cost-effective (efficient health gained per dollar spent) or even cost saving (health gains with reduced overall spending). These interventions prove highly attractive and complement the preventive health system strategies promoted in high-, middle-, and low-income countries. Selected policy interventions may also reduce health disparities. Specific knowledge gaps remain in quantitative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of several dietary policies in different settings and within different population subgroups, however. These gaps highlight the urgent need for governments, foundations, advocacy groups, and private industry to prioritize relevant implementation and evaluation of these approaches.
Cost Effectiveness of a Government Supported Policy Strategy to Decrease Sodium Intake: Global Analysis Across 183 Nations
Michael Webb, Saman Fahimi, Gitanjali M Singh, Shahab Khatibzadeh, Renata Micha, John Powles, Dariush Mozaffarian
BMJ, January 2017, 356: p. i6699
We quantified the cost effectiveness of a government policy combining targeted industry agreements and public education to reduce sodium intake in 183 countries worldwide. We studied a “soft regulation” national policy that combines targeted industry agreements, government monitoring, and public education to reduce population sodium intake, modeled on the recent successful UK program. To account for heterogeneity in efficacy across countries, a range of scenarios were evaluated, including 10%, 30%, 0.5 g/day, and 1.5 g/day sodium reductions achieved over 10 years. We characterized global sodium intakes, blood pressure levels, effects of sodium on blood pressure and of blood pressure on cardiovascular disease, and cardiovascular disease rates in 2010, each by age and sex, in 183 countries. Country specific costs of a sodium reduction policy were estimated using the World Health Organization Noncommunicable Disease Costing Tool. Country specific impacts on mortality and disability adjusted life years (DALYs) were modeled using comparative risk assessment. We only evaluated program costs, without incorporating potential healthcare savings from prevented events, to provide conservative estimates of cost effectiveness. Worldwide, a 10% reduction in sodium consumption over 10 years within each country was projected to avert approximately 5.8 million DALYs/year related to cardiovascular diseases, at a population weighted mean cost of I$1.13 per capita over the 10 year intervention. Most (96.0%) of the world’s adult population lived in countries in which this intervention had a cost effectiveness ratio <0.1×GDP per capita, and 99.6% in countries with a cost effectiveness ratio <1.0×GDP per capita. The intervention is projected to be highly cost effective worldwide, even without accounting for potential healthcare savings.