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Health Disparities among Hispanic in Times of COVID19

Paper Session

Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021 3:45 PM - 5:45 PM (EST)

Hosted By: American Society of Hispanic Economists
  • Chair: Alberto Davila, Southeast Missouri State University

COVID-19, Race/Ethnicity and Age: How Technologies Can Close the Gaps on Health Disparities

Juan J. DelaCruz
City University of New York-Lehman College
Andreas Kakolyris
Manhattan College
Christos Giannikos
City University of New York-Baruch College


The novel COVID19 outbreak is a major public health challenge that quickly turned into an economic recession of great proportions. This epidemic poses a trade-off between health and the economy where social distancing, quarantines, and isolation shut down demand and supply chains across the United States. This paper analyzes the impact of COVID19 on illness and death among older adults and communities of color with low socioeconomic status in New York City. To achieve this goal, a fractional logit model was used to capture changes in the novel virus’ morbidity and mortality rates at the neighborhood level. Median income, race/ethnicity, age, household crowding, and socially interactive employment explained the disproportionate exposure and fatalities across the city. We sustain that technology goods in the form of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and telehealth along with government intervention as a provider of social goods can ameliorate existing health disparities. There is a need for evidence-based data on the economic costs and social benefits of COVID19 relief programs.

The Effect of Hurricane Maria and La Crisis Boricua on Healthcare Supply in Puerto Rico

Jose Fernandez
University of Louisville


Due to the financial crisis facing Puerto Rico, many medical professionals on the island have left. Former Governor Rossello passed Act 14 in April of 2017 hoping to stave off the exodus of physicians. Act 14 reduces the income tax charge on medical services from 30 percent to 4 percent for 15 years. During the same year Puerto Rico experience a devastating category 4 hurricane, which left the island without power or water for several months. We will use a difference in difference estimation to estimate the effects of this change in the marginal tax rate to both keep physicians on the island as well as attract new physicians to the island from the mainland US. We use data from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, the May Occupational Employment Statistics counts, and the AAMC Report on Residents. We find the number of healthcare providers decreased by 6.5 percent. The number of family physicians and pediatricians fell by 17.5 percent and 62 percent respectively. However, the number of registered nurses increased by 2.7 percent. Although the levels of healthcare providers decreases, the rate of healthcare provides per capita actually increased during this time period since the population decreases more rapidly than the fall in the level of healthcare providers.

The Impact of Health Shocks and Vulnerabilities on Latino’s Wealth

Monica I. Garcia-Perez
St. Cloud State University


Using the Health Retirement Survey (2006-2017) -(HRS- RAND HRS Longitudinal File- Bugliari, 2009), I plan to analyze the connection between wealth depletion and health shocks among elderly Hispanic. I plan to identify the effect of nearly diagnosed conditions, separated by their level of severity (Mild, Intermediate, and Severe), on the average wealth depletion compared to White individuals. The key health conditions that are evaluated include diabetes and liver disease. Both are conditions that make this population more vulnerable to the current virus COVID-19.
Stephen J. Trejo
University of Texas-Austin
Esther Arenas-Arroyo
Vienna University of Economics and Business
Mark Hoekstra
Texas A&M University, NBER, and IZA
José R. Bucheli
New Mexico State University
JEL Classifications
  • I3 - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
  • J1 - Demographic Economics