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Research Interests

Primary: Behavioral Economics, Health Economics
Secondary: Experimental Economics, Public Policy

Working Papers

Evidence of Hot-Hand Behavior in Sports and Medicine [Job Market Paper]

This paper provides empirical evidence of hot-hand bias in two high-stakes field settings: dart players' strategic choices, and physicians' decisions during childbirth. The “hot hand” is the notion that a person can enter a state in which her probability of success becomes higher than normal. “Hot-hand bias” refers to a belief that the hot hand is larger than it actually is. First, I collect data of professional dart players from the World Darts Championship in 2016. The players are significantly more likely to hit after a successful shot, implying that players have a hot hand. Based on my estimate of the hot hand, I calculate the optimal strategy of a profit-maximizing dart player. I find that dart players are much more willing to take risks than what I calculate to be optimal. Second, I utilize 1.3 million hospital admissions for childbirth in New York State over 2010-2015. I find no evidence that physicians exhibit hot hands when performing obstetrical procedures. In the absence of hot hands, physicians are still 2% more likely to perform a C-section after a previous successful C-section. My empirical model includes physician fixed effects, and a large set of patient conditions that proxy for when a C-section is likely to maximize patient welfare. Across the two settings, robustness checks provide additional evidence consistent with decision-makers having a hot-hand bias. Generalizing the medical findings to the United States and assuming that the identified 2% increase in the C-section rate is unwarranted, the estimated health-care cost is $65 million per year.

Sleep, Health and Human Capital: Evidence from Daylight Saving Time (with Nicolas Ziebarth, under review)

This paper is one of the first to test for a causal relationship between sleep and human capital. We exploit a plausibly exogenous extension of sleep triggered when Daylight Saving Time (DST) ends. In the fall, the clocks “fall back” and add one additional hour of night time. Our empirical findings are based on the universe of 160 million hospital admissions from Germany and up to 3.4 million BRFSS survey responses from the US over one decade. We find that setting clocks back by one hour significantly extends sleep and reduces self-reported tiredness for four days following the time shift. In turn, self-reported health improves and hospital admissions decrease significantly for about four days. Finally, we categorize and monetize various economic benefits of getting more sleep.


Jin, Lawrence, Donald S. Kenkel, Feng Liu, and Hua Wang (2015), “Retrospective and Prospective Benefit-Cost Analysis of US Anti-Smoking Policies,” Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, 6 (1), pp. 154-186. View Paper

Jin, Jang C. and Lawrence Jin (2013), “Research publications and economic growth: Evidence from cross-country regressions,” Applied Economics, 45 (8), pp. 983-990. View Paper

Bower, Wendy F., Lawrence Jin, Malcolm J. Underwood, Y. H. Lam, and Paul B. Lai (2010), “Peri-operative blood transfusion increases length of hospital stay and number of postoperative complications in non-cardiac surgical patients,” Hong Kong Medical Journal, 16 (2), pp. 116-120. View Paper

Bower, Wendy F., Lawrence Jin, Malcolm J. Underwood, Janet F. Lee, Kit F. Lee, Yuk H. Lam, Sui K. Ng, Alexander C. Vlantis, and Paul B. Lai (2010), “Overt diabetes mellitus adversely affects surgical outcomes of noncardiovascular patients,” Surgery, 147 (5), pp. 670-675. View Paper

Contact Information

Lawrence Jin