Essays on the Economics of U.S. Firefighting
Joshua Hurwitz Dissertation - May 2021.pdf (8.144Mb)
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CitationHurwitz, Joshua. 2021. Essays on the Economics of U.S. Firefighting. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
AbstractBetween 1987 and 2017, the number of annual fire incidents in the US declined by nearly 45 percent, while the number of total career (salaried) firefighters increased by almost 55 percent. This dissertation, which consists of three essays on the economics of U.S. firefighting, is motivated by this stylized fact. The first chapter provides a descriptive analysis of U.S. firefighting trends in recent decades and analyzes potential explanations for the firefighter employment puzzle. The second chapter exploits the employment variation caused by a federal hiring grant called SAFER to study the impact of marginal firefighter employment on fire outcomes. The third chapter details the origins and evolution of fire department involvement in the provision of emergency medical services (EMS), which is shown in the opening chapter to be a likely driver of recent firefighter employment growth. It then reapplies the SAFER grant methodology to analyze the impact of marginal firefighter employment on the incidence of time-sensitive deaths, a critical EMS outcome.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37368375
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