Chien-Tzu Cheng

I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Economics at Brown University. My research interests focus on Health Economics and Labor Economics.

I am on the 202223 economics job market and am available for interviews.

Working Papers

The Impact of Home Pregnancy Testing on Fertility and Women's Later-Life Outcomes

Job Market Paper [PDF]

Home pregnancy tests give early fertility information and help women make timely family-planning decisions. This paper studies how the introduction of home pregnancy tests in the US in 1977 impacted fertility, early prenatal care, and later-life outcomes. Using county-level drugstore accessibility to approximate test availability, I document significant trend breaks in fertility rates after 1977 among women who had access to drugstores. The effects are the strongest for those aged 1529 and concentrated among those with access to abortion services. In the long run, women exposed to home pregnancy tests were more likely to delay childbirth, participate in the labor force, and never marry; these women were also less likely to divorce.

The Benefits of Prenatal Care: Evidence from the SARS Epidemic in Taiwan

with Shin-Yi Chou, Hsien-Ming Lien [PDF]

This paper overcomes the challenge of estimating the benefits of prenatal care by exploring a 20% reduction in prenatal care use during the 2003 SARS epidemic in Taiwan. Adopting social learning effects in response to the widespread panic, we instrument a mother's reduction in prenatal visits with the change in average visits among their peer groups. Using administrative data, we find that prenatal care significantly lowered the likelihood of low birth weight, preterm birth, and neonatal and infant mortality. When stratifying samples by parity, the effects on mortality only persist among the firstborn, suggesting that information is especially important for first-time mothers. However, we find no impact on maternal complications during delivery.

Hospital Response to Financial Incentives: Evidence from Emergency Departments in Taiwan

[PDF (short paper version)]

This paper studies a plausibly exogenous policy change in the Taiwanese universal healthcare system and tests hospital responses to financial incentives. A subsidy policy increased diagnostic fee bonuses for night emergency department admissions by 30% in 2010. Using an event study, I find evidence of manipulationthe night admission share increased by 36% among the least urgent patients but not the most urgent ones. The increase implies that hospitals delayed the least urgent admissions in order to increase profits. However, this policy led to insignificant improvements in care provision and health outcomes.

Work in Progress

  • Why Are Women Not Hiring Women? A Non-Bayesian Social Learning Experiment

with Alex Zhou

(Awarded: Taubman Center Graduate Research Fellowship Award, Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy, Brown University)

  • The Long-Term Impact of Healthcare Accessibility in Middle Childhood: Evidence from Medicaid Expansion in the 1990s

with Assaf Kott