Patrick Manzi

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Business and Economics



Committee Chair

John Deskins

Committee Co-Chair

Brian Cushing

Committee Member

Tami Gurley-Calvez

Committee Member

Joshua Hall

Committee Member

Amanda Ross


I examine three issues in health economics. I first consider the effect of smoking bans on weight gain and find that while smoking bans do not lead to weight gain among the whole population, they may lead to slight increases in weight gain among current smokers. In the second essay I examine differences in maternal and infant health outcomes among mothers enrolled in the WIC program using a regression discontinuity approach. Results indicate that WIC participation decreases the likelihood of premature births, reduces the likelihood of breastfeeding and leads to decreases in maternal weight gain during pregnancy. Finally I examine how insurance coverage contributes to an individual's decision to utilize several preventive care services. I find that in all cases individuals with insurance coverage are more likely to utilize all preventive care services examined and also that visiting a doctor's office in the previous year is a significant driver in the uptake of preventive care services.