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CINCH - Health Economics Research Center

New CINCH Working Paper


A new working paper has been added to the CINCH working paper series: "The Health Externalities of Downsizing" by Alexander Ahammer, Dominik Grübl, and Rudolf Winter-Ebmer.

Abstract: We show that downsizing has substantial externalities on the health of workers who remain in the firm. To this end, we study mass layoff (ML) survivors in Austria, using workers who survive a ML themselves, but a few years in the future, as a control group. Based on high-quality administrative data, we find evidence that downsizing has persistent effects on mental and physical health, and that these effects can be explained by workers fearing for their own jobs. We also show that health externalities due to downsizing imply non-negligible cost for firms, and that wage cuts may have similar effects.

See all working papers.



Virtual Essen Health Economics Seminar


On Monday, July 5 2021, 16:00 - 17:30, Thomas Schober (Johannes Kepler University Linz) will present:

Evaluating Hospital Performance

There is an increasing interest in measuring and comparing the quality of care in hospitals. Widely used risk adjustment methods rely on observable characteristics to account for patient selection, but are often criticized for their inability to fully control for differences in patients across hospitals. We assess hospital performance using exogenous variation shaped by the institutional setting of inpatient care in Upper Austria. Hospitals have agreed on a rotating schedule, where on each day, one or two hospitals are primarily responsible for the admission of inpatients. For patients in need of acute care, this schedule creates a quasi-random allocation into different hospitals. We use this variation in an instrumental variable (IV) framework to estimate hospital performance, and compare the results to traditional risk adjustment methods. We use patient mortality and readmissions as quality indicators and draw on administrative data from Upper Austria with hospital visits from the years 2005 to 2018. We find substantial differences between IV and risk adjustment estimates, and show that increasing the number of variables used to control for patient differences often does not provide more credible results.

Room: Due to the current situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the talk will be held in a virtual seminar room. For more information click here.

Virtual Essen Health Economics Seminar


On Monday, June 28 2021, 16:00 - 17:30, Bettina Siflinger (Tilburg University) will present:

The Effect of Retirement on Mental Health: Indirect Treatment Effects and Causal Mediation

People experience multiple changes in their lives after retirement which can affect their mental health. In this paper, we examine the mediating impact of grandparental childcare in the effect of retirement on mental health among elderly women in Europe. We apply a semi-parametric estimation strategy to disentangle the total effect of retirement on mental health into a direct effect, and an indirect effect mediated through grandparental childcare. We find that retirement directly leads to a significant increase in mental health problems. However, this effect is completely offset by a significant reduction in mental health problems generated by a mediating effect of grandparental childcare. As a result, the total effect of retirement on mental health is close to zero. We then examine country-specific heterogeneity in the provision of public childcare and find that the mediating effect unfolds its full compensating strength in countries in which grandparental childcare is supplemental to public childcare. Our results have important implications for designing old-age social policies.

Room: Due to the current situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the talk will be held in a virtual seminar room. For more information click here.