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Do Elections Make You Sick?

Hung-Hao Chang () and Chad Meyerhoefer

No 26697, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Anecdotal reports and small-scale studies suggest that elections are stressful, and might lead to a deterioration in voters’ mental well-being. Nonetheless, researchers have yet to establish whether elections actually make people sick, and if so, why. By applying a regression discontinuity design to administrative health care claims from Taiwan, we determine that elections increased health care use and expense only during legally specified campaign periods by as much as 19%. Overall, the treatment cost of illness caused by elections exceeded publicly reported levels of campaign expenditure, and accounted for 2% of total national health care costs during the campaign period.

JEL-codes: H51 I18 P16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-01
Note: HC HE POL
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