Most Recent

  • Theories of Financial Hardship and Measures of the Construct in Health Datasets: Empirical Applications for Illinois and the Metro / Nonmetro Populations of the Nation

    This paper shows how the construct “financial hardship” should be measured based on its role in the theory. Theories from economics, psychology, and sociology guided the search for existing measures of the construct in published databases such as the Medicare Beneficiary Survey. Results of data analysis show that perceptual measures of financial hardship such as the ones in the Medicare Beneficiary Survey lack content validity – the semantic correspondence of the measure with the construct’s definition is inadequate.

    An Empirical Analysis of Financial Hardship Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia: Metro and Nonmetro Patients

    This paper explores financial hardships among ADRD patients using data from the National Health and Aging Trends Study. Results of data analysis indicate financial hardship among the non-Whites and the 75-84-year-old patients.

    Burden of Health Care Costs for Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia

    What is the typical out-of-pocket spending on healthcare for individuals afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia? This paper addresses this and other related questions using microdata from the Health and Retirement Study. Results of data analysis indicate that the average out-of-pocket spending is around $2,383 per month and the patient’s social security income covers less than one half of this cost.

    Exploring the Other Side of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia: Informal Caregivers

    This paper investigates metro-nonmetro differences in caregiving for sufferers of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia. Based on the reasoning that caregiving is learned vicariously, for example, through observation, differences in both observer characteristics and external reinforcement were analyzed for both the geographies. Data are from National Health and Aging Trends Study. Data analysis suggests that a typical caregiver is a female age 50 and above with a high school education. On average, caregivers in the metro work for longer hours, 6hours per day in the metro compared to 4hours in the nonmetro.

    Urban-Rural Differences in Mental Health Concerns: Findings from a Survey of the American General Population

    This research provides stylized facts about mental health in the metro and the nonmetro and thus opens pathways for further research on the topic; survey data from the National Alliance on Mental Illness were used to gain insights into residents’ perceptions / knowledge about mental health.  Results of data analysis suggest that “mental healthcare” is a worrisome topic for more of the metro residents than the nonmetro ones.  Furthermore, increasing federal and state funding for mental health care is strongly supported by metro residents, but not so strongly by nonmetro residents.

    Telemedicine and the Carbon Footprint of Healthcare: An Empirical Analysis of Illinois Counties

    The US healthcare sector is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas generation and thus climate change. This study explores the role of telemedicine in reducing environmental emissions; Illinois counties are the geographical unit of analysis. Results of data analysis indicate that Illinoisans had 14.9mil telemedicine visits in 2021 and these visits resulted in carbon savings of approximately 70mil to 91mil kilograms.

    Cost of Dementia in Illinois: Metro versus Nonmetro

    This paper explores metro-nonmetro differences in the prevalence of Alzheimer’s dementia. Data analysis suggests that more nonmetro Illinoisans experience cognitive difficulties; dementia is less of a concern for metro residents, men, and for persons not enrolled in Medicare / Medicaid Programs; and Alzheimer’s dementia cost is estimated at $76.9billion.

    Health Related Beliefs of Ethnic Groups: An Exploratory Analysis

    This paper tests the proposition that one’s cognitive representations of health are related to one’s perceptions about happenings in the community. Microdata from a telephone survey of adults aged 18 and older informed the empirical analysis. Results show that ethnic minorities view illness as one’s loss of personal control; this implies that treatment must address the patient’s perceptions about interpersonal transgressions or misconduct.

    Gender and Health in the Midwest, Metro versus Nonmetro: Insights from the National Health Interview Survey

    Research suggests that men and women exhibit varied symptoms for the same disease, for example, stroke. Almost one-in-four Midwestern women in the metro and the nonmetro suffer from anxiety disorder. This paper explores the causal role of sex / gender in the association between anxiety medication and life satisfaction. Empirical analysis suggests that taking anxiety medication would lower one’s life satisfaction.

    Patient Satisfaction with Rural Health Centers

    This research uses microdata from a health center patient survey to explore patients’ service quality perceptions and satisfaction with health centers. Results of empirical analysis show that Black patients are more skeptical of health center service quality than other ethnicities.

    Race Differences in Physicians’ Annual Incomes in Illinois: Metro versus Nonmetro

    Race is a social construct.  Although the median wealth of a White family is 10 times the median wealth of a Black family, race should be less of a determinant of earnings, a proxy for wealth, in professional occupations such as physicians where demand for services outstrip supply by many folds.  This argument was empirically tested using microdata from the ACS, 2018 and 2021.  Results suggest that Illinois has a diverse healthcare workforce and demographics such as race and place of work do not impact physician earnings.

    Climate and Mortality in Nonmetro Illinois: Retrospective Study, 1999-2021 and Projections of Mortality for 2030

    Climatic predictions for the Illinois region are for extreme heat, heavy rainfall, and flashfloods, which suggest that heat-related illness and waterborne disease would be salient public-health concerns. Data analysis reveals that maximum temperatures in the nonmetro during 1999-2021 have increased at an annual compound growth rate of 0.32%. Specifically, of the 12,883 deaths that occurred during the summer months of 1999 to 2021, an estimated 5,926 to 6,828 of the deaths could be attributed to heat-related mortality. Ceteris paribus, heat-related mortality is expected to grow at an ACGR of 1.6% and reach 6,841 to 7,884 deaths by 2030.

    Dental Care Use in the Midwest: Metro vs. Nonmetro

    This research is about dental care use; motivations for care and likelihood of visiting a dentist or dental clinic are researched. The Midwest region was the geographical unit of analysis. Three sources of data were pooled to gain insights into user behavior, both for the metro and the nonmetro. Empirical analysis suggests that a larger proportion of minorities in the nonmetro delay dental care due to costs, 38% of the minorities compared to 5% of the Whites.

    Worker Burnout in Healthcare: Metro vs. Non-Metro

    This study shows that more than one-in-two healthcare workers, both in the metro and the non-metro, are burned out. Data are from the USA Today / Ipsos survey of healthcare workers, fielded during February 9-16, 2022. Demographics such as education and income do not correlate with burnout; in other words, one’s level of education and income are independent of being burned out on the job. Prevention strategies such as humanization of work schedules are recommended.

    Health Policy for Rural Illinois, Data for Policy Development

    This paper provides data for heath policy for rural Illinois; the state’s metropolitan data are provided for comparison purposes. The construct, “health policy”, is conceptualized to be a function of four factors: healthcare access, cost, quality, and equity; each facet, in turn, was measured using indicators derived from multiple data sources. Data analysis suggests that disparity in healthcare between the Whites and the minority population is more pronounced in the non-metro and is getting worse.

    Health and Healthcare Disparities in Illinois, Metro vs. Nonmetro

    This paper addresses the question, “What is the status of health and healthcare disparities in Illinois” using data from three sources: American Community Survey, 2017-2021; Health Cost & Utilization Project, 2018-2020, and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), 2021. Data analysis suggests that health disparities exist in Illinois – affordability, or the inability to pay the doctor, has prevented a majority of the Hispanics in the nonmetro from seeing a doctor in the past 12 months. The largest potential for improvement in minority health lies in behavioral risk factors, smoking and lack of exercise.

    Physical Activity of Illinoisans in the Metro and the Nonmetro

    This research shows that more nonmetro Illinoisans are physically inactive compared to their metro counterparts. Data analysis reveals that 80% of nonmetro residents are either overweight (Body-Mass Index more than 25, but less than 30) or obese (Body-Mass Index greater than or equal to 30). Logistic analysis of physical activity with various predictors suggests that daily intake of fruits contributes positively to the log odds of exercising.

    Hospitals in Illinois that are Likely to Seek the Rural Emergency Hospital Designation: An Exploratory Analysis

    The Rural Emergency Hospital designation offers current Critical Access Hospitals and rural Prospective Payment System hospitals with fewer than 50 beds to furnish emergency department and observation services. A principal component analysis of microdata from the CMS suggests that there are 13 potential REH members in Illinois, 10 in the nonmetro and three in the metro.

    The Living Conditions of Elderly in Nonmetro Illinois and East North Central Division of the Midwest Region

    This paper describes the attributes of elderly housing in the metro and the nonmetro. Paucity of housing data at the nonmetro level motivated the research. Data analysis suggests that a majority of elderly in the nonmetro own their homes, 64%, compared to 48% of home ownership for the metro. More than two-out-of-five nonmetro residents expressed interest in having an Accessory Dwelling Unit; other changes that are required to continue living in the home include easier access into the home and bathroom modifications such as handrails and no-step shower.

    Free Expression among Races: Differences Between the Metro and the Nonmetro

    This paper highlights differences in beliefs about the First Amendment and free speech rights among three different races: Whites, African Americans, and Asians. Data are from a survey conducted by the Knight Foundation. While African Americans are more skeptical about the First Amendment and free speech rights, a majority of White respondents believe that the use of free speech is for the wealthy.

    Farmers Involvement in Educational Activities: Insights from the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) and Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES) Microdata Sets

    This paper explores time spent by self-employed farmers on work and work-related educational activities. Data analysis reveals that farming is primarily learned by experience and discovery; farmers spend little or no time on formal education and training. Policy efforts aimed at stimulating continuing learning among farmers should focus on developing their critical thinking and reflection skills.

    Shifting Meaning of Inequity: Insights from the Blog Posts of National Black Farmers Association

    This paper uses topic modelling to study 217 blogs from the National Black Farmers Association. A blog is a verbal behavior of the blogger; every verbal behavior or utterance has a probability of emission. How often a blogger will emit a response depends upon reinforcements for the response. The results of our empirical analysis indicate that perceptions of racial discrimination, including beliefs about the consequences of racial discrimination, are widely shared among the members of the National Black Farmers Association.

    Youth E-Cigarette Use in Illinois and the Midwest: Insights from A Panel Study

    This paper explores e-cigarette use among young people in Illinois and the Midwest; data were from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study. Results of data analysis suggest that (i) 11% of adolescents reported using electronic nicotine products during the past 12 months; (ii) fruit and candy flavors were the most preferred e-liquid flavors, and (iii) the majority of e-cigarette users were White, male, and 15-17 years of age. The paper concludes with a listing of behavioral strategies to combat e-cigarette use.

    The Threat of Automation: Differences in Perceptions Between Metro and Nonmetro Labor Force Participants

    The present study was constructed to determine the social and economic characteristics of those workers who perceive automation as a threat. Data were from a survey of adults sponsored by the Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University. Results of data analysis suggest that some individuals appear to live as if they are in the process of “becoming”; they are training to develop new skills in order to keep up with changes in the workplace; they are predominantly college-educated men with a household income of $50,000-$75,000.

    Impacts of Automation on Employment: Metro and Nonmetro Illinois

    This paper explores the impact of automation on occupations in Illinois. Many foresee negative impacts, that automation will wipe out millions of jobs. Empirical analysis suggests that the role of labor in industry output has decreased in the nonmetro; and at the peak of automation in the 2030s, a quarter of a million jobs in the nonmetro would be disrupted; production family of jobs will be the worst affected in the nonmetro.

    An Empirical Analysis of the Attributes of New and Beginning Farmers in Illinois

    This paper compares the characteristics of beginning operators and their farming operations with those of experienced producers using data from the census of agriculture. Results of data analysis reveal that 99% of all beginning producers are White. Of the very few minority beginning producers, N = 202, 44% are African Americans, 34% Asians, and 22% other minorities. A higher proportion of beginning farmers grow vegetables and engage in cattle, sheep, and goat farming, whereas experienced producers focus on oilseed and grain farming and dairy cattle. This research is a first step towards building up an empirically based set of observations and findings about beginning farmers.

    Young Illinoisans’ Interests in Farming

    This paper explores young persons’ interests in farming using published data from the Census of Agriculture and related sources. One of the salient findings of the research is that the head of the farming household provides positive reinforcement for young persons in the household to engage in farming; the strength of the reinforcement is the largest for biological sons or daughters and least for adopted children. In spite of this, parental influence, 92% of young persons from farming families look for employment elsewhere. The consequence is reflected in the median growth rate of young producers in Illinois, -2.7%.

    An Empirical Analysis of Farm Tenancy in Illinois and Tweets about Farm Tenancy

    This paper explores Illinois farm tenancy using both published quantitative data and qualitative Tweets. Results of data analysis suggest that in 2020 eight percent of Illinois farms had tenant farmers; sixty two percent of the tenant farmers were male and a majority of tenants rented less than 100 acres of land. Revenue growth for tenant farms is positively correlated with the size of the land; larger the leased land, larger is the revenue growth. Twitterati harbor positive sentiments about farm tenancy. The paper concludes with a call for micro data analysis of farm tenancy data.

    Foreign Businesses in the Agricultural Sector in Illinois

    Fourteen overseas companies operate 27 subsidiaries in the state. The typical parent company has been in business since 1954, employs 23,500 people, and has an annual revenue of $10.03bil. The 27 subsidiaries function in 50 different industries; slightly more than 40% of the firms function in the livestock industry. The question is whether foreign business investments will displace the “local” farmer. Using risk computations from modern finance theory, I conclude that foreign business takeover of Illinois agricultural land is unlikely to happen.

    Rural Illinois in Numbers: Content-Valid Indicators for Governance

    This paper provides ‘valid’ indicators for quality of life assessment at the county level. Validity is the response to the question, “how truthfully does the measure represent the constructs in the theory”. Based on the argument that quality of life implies fulfilment of one’s needs and meeting of the demands which society places upon one, I construct 18 indicators of quality of life, measure them longitudinally using publicly available data, and profile rural Illinois, county-wise.

    Illinois Farm Ownership by Race and Farm Productivity

    This paper explores the impact of producer’s race on farm productivity. Data analysis suggests that: (i) minority farmers own farms that are less than 50 acres in size; the opposite is true for the White producers, 64% own more than 50 acres of farm land; and (ii) on average, farms operated by the Whites receive more conservation-programs payments and other federal program payments.

    Restaurant Inspections in Illinois: A Control Theory Analysis

    Market-regulation is often imposed on industries that generate substantial external costs; restaurants are responsible for majority of foodborne illness in the nation. Data on restaurant inspections for the years 2020, 2021, and January 1, 2022 – May 10, 2022, were processed to gain insights into firm behavior. An analysis of 23,683 cases reveals that 56% of the inspections reported illness-risk-factor violations and retail-practices violations; only 15% of the inspections had no violations.

    Labor Mobility in Illinois: Industry by Occupation Analysis

    This paper explores whether Covid-19 could have increased the likelihood of job changes of an extreme sort; Illinoisans may have taken jobs outside their interests and below their capacities. Employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the US Census Bureau were used to gain insights into the issue. Results of data analysis suggest that job-to-job moves declined in 2021, from 240,747 moves in 1st quarter, 2020 to 219,949 moves in 1st quarter, 2021, but the Covid-19 pandemic did not result in random job changes. Another outcome of the research is the transition matrix for occupations by industry; it shows, for example, the likelihood of one moving from an “outdoor” job to a “technology” job.

    Job-to-Job Flows in Illinois, 2000-2021

    This paper explores the dynamics of labor movements in Illinois using data from the US Census Bureau. Empirical analysis reveals that Covid-19 has altered the level of job-to-job movements, from a pre Covid-19 average of 285,000 moves to 221,610 moves.

    Rural Education in Charts, 2000-2022

    This paper provides a snapshot of rural educational attainment as at January 2022. Apart from crosstabulations of educational attainment with demographic variables such as gender and age, the paper also estimates Covid-19 impacts on median earnings of the college-educated population, the respiratory illness has increased median earnings by $8,350.

    Discouraged Workers in the Nonmetro

    This paper explores the personal characteristics of those discouraged over job prospects. Microdata from the Current Population Survey, for three monthly periods, January 2020, January 2021, and January 2022, were compiled to gain insights into the discouraged worker. Results suggest that he number of discouraged workers has declined in the nonmetro, but has increased in the metro and during phase 4 of the Covid-19 pandemic, January 2021, more Blacks than Whites believed that they couldn’t find work.

    Rural Residents’ Evaluation of their College Education: Insights from the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Household Economics and Decision Making

    This paper explores metro nonmetro differences in value perceptions of college degrees. Responses from 11,648 adults, a nationally representative sample of 18+ year old individuals, were used to gain insights into cost-benefit evaluations of associate / bachelor’s degrees. Results of data analysis suggest that rural residents value a degree in education more than a degree in science & engineering or business studies. Contrary to the common belief that rural residents view higher education as a threat to their chances of retaining their young people, this research shows that rural residents stake their self-esteem on higher education.

    Demographics of High-Income Households in Rural Illinois, 2021

    This paper presents the profile of high-income households in rural Illinois. Salient findings include: (1) Households in the top quintile accounted for 52% of total household income in rural Illinois; and (2) A typical top-5% household is a single family, two-member household with a female head of household.
    To attain a more equitable personal distribution of income, it is recommended that governments focus on motivating individuals to attain positions that are scarce and valued by the society.

    Interpreting the Recent Decline in Illinois’ Labor Force: April 2020 – December 2021

    This paper focuses on the effects of extraneous factors such as Covid-19 on Illinoisans’ nonparticipation in the labor market. During the early weeks of the pandemic, April 23, 2020 to June 23, 2020, Covid-19 was the main reason for not working for pay or profit. Later, retirement became the main reason for nonparticipation in the labor force, median value = 38.5%. Family & friends were a major source of financial support for persons whose employer has shut down because of Covid-19. Since April 2020, the retirement rate of the Illinois labor force is 1% per 1-2 weeks’ time period. Nevertheless, there is good news; the labor market is tight. If an Illinoisan needs a job, there is one available.

    Telemedicine use in Illinois during the weeks leading to the spread of Covid-19, omicron variant: Insights from the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey

    Based on the reasoning that behavior is adaptable to changing circumstances, this paper explores whether telemedicine has become common among Illinoisans, since the emergence of Covid-19 in January 2020. Micro data from the US Census’ Household Pulse Survey were analyzed, comparative statics analysis was performed. Results suggest that telemedicine use has declined in Illinois, but college educated population and households with income above $75,000 are using the service more. These clusters or segments should be the target for marketing the service.

     Coronavirus Vaccine Refusal and Hesitancy: Metro versus Nonmetro Differences

    This paper highlights Covid-19 vaccine behavior among Medicare beneficiaries. Data are from the Winter 2021, Covid-19 supplement to the Medicare Beneficiary Survey. Results of data analysis suggest that slightly more than one-in-three metro and nonmetro residents do not want to get vaccinated; vaccine side effects are a major concern. It is recommended that marketing communications highlight that the vaccine is safe and effective.

    Supplier-Induced Demand and Telemedicine in Rural Illinois: An Exploratory Analysis

    This paper explores the market for telehealth in rural Illinois; specifically, the argument that medical practitioners have the ability to generate demand for telemedicine services is empirically tested using data from the Medicare Beneficiary Survey, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and telemedicine use data from Center for Medicare Services. Results suggest that telemedicine use in the rural Midwest is around 40%, Covid-19 made one-in-three Midwesterners aware about telemedicine, and the service is associated with communities that have fewer healthcare professionals.

    Unused Human Resources in Rural Illinois: A Profile of “Not in the Labor Force” Population, January – October 2021

    This paper uses the concept of ‘labor reserve’ to highlight the potential supply of labor in rural Illinois. Labor reserve encompasses those nonparticipants who are most likely to join the labor force under more favorable social conditions. For rural Illinois, this number is around 26,281 persons, majority of them female.

    The Dynamics of Rural Illinois’ Human Capital

    This paper shows educational attainment by race and gender for rural Illinois. Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) were used to calibrate a human capital metric for rural Illinois. Results show that White females contribute the most to the human capital stock for rural Illinois.

    Explaining Outmigration Intentions of Rural Population

    This study uses data from a recent Ipsos survey, Understanding Society: Wave 1 April 2021 2 , to explore the determinants of outmigration intentions of rural residents. Results of empirical analysis show that the odds of a person in the 18-24 age group liking to live in the city is 42 times higher than a person in the 25-34 age group, and 72,000 times higher than a person in the 50+ age category.

    Direct Mail Advertisements and Their Economic Contributions: The Case of Rural Illinois

    Any unsolicited advertising sent to potential customers through the mail is called “direct mail”. Illinois is home to 109 direct mail enterprises; the state is fifth largest in market concentration of direct mail businesses. In economics, advertising is considered a social waste. This paper is an empirical assessment of the contribution of direct mail to the GRP of rural Illinois. Results suggest that the share of direct mail in the GRP of rural Illinois is $1.549billion; 2% of rural Illinois’ GRP.

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