In recent years, the City of Essen has evolved into an important location for academic research in health economics. The rise of health economics in Essen is mainly due to a very successful cooperation between the Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI) and the Faculty of Business Administration and Economics at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Thanks to extensive international research networks; collaborations with representatives of the health care sector; and a number of successes in the acquisition of competitive research grants, a strong and dynamic research environment has evolved.
The Essen Health Symposium on 24 October 2016 has two specific reasons. First, CINCH, our national research centre for health economic research, has just been awarded a second four-year period of funding. Second, the Leibniz Association has granted Essen a Leibniz Science Campus devoted to health economics. Both programmes are joint ventures between the university of Duisburg-Essen and the RWI. Within CINCH, the Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) participates as an additional collaborating partner.
CINCH was selected by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as one out of four national centres for health economic research. Its research focuses on empirical and experimental studies of competition in the health care sector. Our Leibniz Science Campus is devoted to the health care challenges arising in ageing and declining regions. The symposium gathers several distinguished health economists in Essen and aims at making our research known to a broader audience. The keynote address on the topic of competition in the health care sector is given by Carol Propper (Imperial College), upon which two panel discussions follow on the topics “health care challenges in declining regions” and “experimental health economics”.
A new working paper has been added to the CINCH working paper series: “Access to Education and Teenage Pregnancy.” by Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner and Jesse Matheson.
Little is known about the causal impact of education opportunities on the decision of young women to have children. Expanding education opportunities may lead to a greater number of young women putting off childbearing until after their teenage years. In this study we look at the effect of one of the largest secondary school expansions on record, providing quasi-experimental evidence to uncover the causal impact of education opportunity on teenage fertility. After achieving near universal enrolment in primary education in the mid-1990s, Brazil went through an ambitious program of expanding secondary schooling. Between 1996 and 2009 more than 10,269 secondary schools were introduced, increasing the average enrolment rate for teens age 15 to 19 from 21% to 48%. We combine data from the Brazilian School Census, and Brazilian Vital Statistics data capturing 45 million live births by age of mother into an extraordinarily rich data set. Plausibly exogenous variation in the introduction of schools across municipalities over time is used to estimate the effect of education opportunity on teenage births. We find a significant negative effect of secondary school availability on teenage pregnancy. Our results suggest that the addition of one school at age 15 will reduce average cumulative births by 19 by, on average, 4.4 births or 4.6% relative to the mean. These results suggest that the expansion in secondary schools across Brazil can account for roughly 27% of the large decline in teenage childbearing observed between 1997 and 2009 in Brazil.