Is Exposure to Epidemic Improved Health Behaviors? Evidence from China’s 2002-2004 SARS Outbreak
Emerging epidemics have devastating impacts on people's lives and livelihoods. However, acting as a severe health shock, exposure to an epidemic may induce positive changes in health behaviors among survivors. This study examined the causal relationship between exposure to the 2002–2004 severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak and Chinese adults' health behaviors. Drawing on data from the 1998–2009 Urban Household Survey, we found that exposure to the SARS outbreak could improve health behaviors, after adjusting for demographic characteristics, adulthood socioeconomic status, and local socioeconomic conditions. The positive impact of SARS on health behavior is concentrated on those with higher levels of education and more risk aversion. Furthermore, we found that increasing of health resources and health literacy are the possible mechanisms. These findings suggest that positive post-epidemic behavioral changes are possible and may have long-term health benefits for survivors.
文莎，皇冠正规welcome登录讲师，博士毕业于西南财经大学皇冠正规welcome登录, 研究方向为健康经济学和劳动经济学，近些年在《Social Science & Medicine》、《Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences》和《人口学刊》等期刊发表论文多篇。