Research

The team members of the Chair are involved in a large number of different projects, which are summarised below.

Information on further research activities you may find here:

 

Research Projects

Asymmetric Information in the market for private health insurance. This project aims at empirically estimating the importance and the implications of information asymmetries between clients and insurance providers in the market for health insurance. A seminal contribution by Rothschild and Stiglitz (1976) has shown that unobservable differences between customers can give rise to substantial efficiency losses. A more recent literature seeks to estimate the importance of these losses using modern econometric techniques. Our project is an application to the market for private health insurance in Germany. Using claims data from a major German insurer, we estimate the degree of information asymmetry and its implications in terms of consumer welfare. This project is a collaboration with Nicolas Ziebarth of Cornell University.

Population Ageing and Long-Term Care. In this project, the focus is on the implications of demographic change for provision and financing of Long-Term Care. One main issue is the “red herring” hypothesis, according to which care needs are postponed when life expectancy increases. Moreover, the implications of various public funding mechanisms are analysed in collaboration with colleagues at the Cass Business School (London) and at the University of Oslo.

Early-life conditions and later-life outcomes. A growing literature analyses the so-called Barker hypothesis, according to which external conditions during pregnancy and early childhood have far-reaching consequences in adulthood. Researchers in economics have taken the analysis one step further by investigating whether in utero and early life conditions have an effect on socioeconomic outcomes. In this project, we use administrative data from Sweden to analyse whether policy interventions and other external factors in the 1930s and 1940s had an impact on later-life outcomes, such as educational attainment, labour market outcomes and adult health for cohorts that were affected by the interventions while in utero or during their first year of life. The project is funded by a grant from the Swedish foundation Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and is carried out in collaboration with Sonia Bhalotra (University of Essex) and Therese Nilsson (Lund University).

The Economics of Disease. It is the aim of this project to analyse the economic implications of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, combining micro- and macroeconomic techniques. In particular, we seek to evaluate a) the socioeconomic gradient in influenza exposure and the extent to which avoidance behavior was important; b) the short- and long-term effects of in utero exposure to the pandemic, with a particular focus on socioeconomic differences and on parental responses; c) the impact of the pandemic on macroeconomic outcomes such as earnings, capital returns and poverty rates. The project is supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and  carried out in collaboration with Therese Nilsson (Lund University) and Stefan Pichler (ETH Zürich). (see article published in Campus:Report 3|14: "Link")

Climate Change, Pollution and Human Health Outcomes. In this project, we analyse the implications of climate change and other environmental factors from the point of view of health economics. Using high-quality administrative datasets for Germany, we estimate the impact of extreme weather events on several outcome variables, such as mortality rates, hospital admissions and functional limitations. Also this project is a collaboration with Professor Nicolas Ziebarth from Cornell University.