Economics ETDs


tunay oguz

Publication Date



This dissertation is composed of three studies examining barriers to health and healthcare that affect individuals on the basis of their race, ethnicity, and gender. The first study examines access to care disparities between non-Hispanic whites and Hispanics. I find that observed characteristics explain all of the disparities in access to care between these two groups, a marked change from a decade ago when characteristics explained only 65 percent. However, disparities in access to care between women and men remain unexplained even when differences in their attitudes and beliefs regarding healthcare are controlled for, especially for Hispanic men and women. Diversifying the healthcare workforce is often prescribed as a way to improve healthcare access for minorities in the U.S. In the second study, I explore whether concordance between provider and patient based on race, ethnicity, or gender influences patient satisfaction with their providers. Findings show that diversifying the workforce in terms of race and ethnicity may not be enough to improve the quality of care and satisfaction with care for minority individuals, especially Hispanic men, who appear to be less satisfied when treated by Hispanic medical providers. Barriers to health in developing countries go beyond access to medical care and may be related to an individuals social status. Using data from Turkey, the third study asks whether or not a mother's autonomy affects her children's health. Findings show that a mother's autonomy measured by her level of conformance to traditional gender norms has long-term consequences for her children's nutritional status, especially for girls.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Economics

First Committee Member (Chair)

Santos, Richard

Second Committee Member

Thacher, Jennifer

Third Committee Member

Sanchez, Gabriel




Health, Health Care, Decomposition, Disparity, Principal Component Analysis, Gender, Nutritional Status, Access to care, Satisfaction with Care

Document Type


Included in

Economics Commons