A variety of research links racial discrimination to stress, health behaviors, and health outcomes. There are reasons to believe these same relationships may be evident for the LGBTQ population. If so, policy initiatives that protect this community from discrimination and mistreatment may reduce disparities in health behaviors as well as mental and physical health outcomes. To consider this, we will examine how state policies that protect LGBTQ rights (and those that allow LGBTQ discrimination) shape disparities in self-reported mental health, tobacco use, and alcohol use, as well as a variety of other health behaviors and outcomes. Particular effort will be made to address policy endogeneity; that is, disentangling such policies’ causal effects on behavior from the impacts of population attitudes that drove policy adoption).
Requisite Skills and Qualifications:
This project requires a diverse skillset. Legislative data must be collected, organized, and coded to generate a novel LGBTQ-policy dataset. These data will then be matched to several different survey datasets, and analyzed to disentangle the relationship between public opinion and policy adoption from the policy’s causal impact on behavior. The ideal candidate will have completed introductory econometrics and microeconomics, and be sufficiently well-versed in the U.S. policy-making process to identify relevant legislation and policies, as well as their implementation dates. They should be competent (ideally proficient) in Stata, and able to merge files, summarize key variables, generate maps, and carry out basic statistical analyses. Applicants should send a CV and a full transcript.