Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Chambers College of Business and Economics



Committee Chair

Brad Humphreys

Committee Member

Daniel Grossman

Committee Member

Palak Suri

Committee Member

David Slusky


This dissertation “Three Essays in Urban, Health and Public Economics” contains three chapters which explore urban, health and public economics. The first two chapters focus on examining the unexpected consequences of urban and health related policies, while the third chapter explores the nuanced relationships between health policies and religion. The first chapter examines the impact of NFL and NBA games, beyond the reach of stadium walls and arenas, extending to how it affects driver behavior after games. In this paper I analyze how game outcomes for professional level football and basketball games have an impact on affecting the rate of accidents on game days when compared with non-game days. Using crash data from the Transportation Injury Mapping System, I match locations of accidents within a 3-mile, 5-mile and 10-mile radius from the Oakland- Alameda County Coliseum Complex with data on NBA and NFL games from 2011 to 2019. Results show that game outcomes (home wins and unexpected losses) result in increasing overall accidents, while also increasing both alcohol involved accidents and accidents resulting in fatalities or severe injuries.

The second chapter consists of joint work with Dr. Dan Grossman and Dr. David Slusky that contributes to the growing literature highlighting the importance of studying the policy implications and full costs associated with reducing access to women’s health clinics through abortion restrictions. In this chapter we assess the unintended consequences of states implementing policies that targeted abortion service providers prior to the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022. Many of these targeted clinics were women’s health clinics that provided essential preventive health care services in addition to providing family planning and reproductive services. These regulations have limited the clinics abilities to provide services and resulted in the closure of many of these health clinics. Using a two-way fixed effects model we estimate the effect of change in access to clinics, measured by travel distance, on cancer diagnosis outcomes including incidence and the initial stage at which the diagnosis is identified. We use restricted access data from Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program (SEERs) in 16 states across the US and match it with a panel of county by month travel distances to nearest women’s health clinics from 2009 to 2019. Results show that increased distances to women’s health clinics have a significant impact on reducing breast cancer diagnosis rates, affecting both white and black women.

The third chapter attempts to highlight the importance of a nuanced approached to analyzing the role religious groups have in voting for “morality” based healthcare policies. Using this paper, I analyze which specific religious groups were influential in voting for a Constitutional Amendment in 2018 in the state of Alabama, deciding on banning all abortions in the state, prior to the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022. I identify that predominantly white-based Evangelical Protestants voted ‘yes’ while Black Protestants voted ‘no’. Through my results I am able to show that despite shared religious doctrine, different church groups vote differently, and voter behavior needs a more nuanced religious classification than the traditional Catholic, Protestant or Jewish classification.