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CINCH - Health Economics Research Center

Virtual Essen Health Economics Seminar


On Monday, May 25 2020, 16:00 - 17:30, Katharina Blankart (CINCH/University of Duisburg-Essen) will present:

What does it need to alter physician treatment style? Cost-control measures in Statin prescribing in Germany

Due to rapidly increasing health expenditures, many countries have implemented guidelines and cost-control strategies in the health care sector to regulate physician treatment discretion. Such strategies typically are intended to reduce unwarranted inefficiencies in health care across providers. Yet the treatment style literature suggests that physicians do not easily alter their behaviors and treatment styles are known to be highly heterogeneous. Policy makers typically do not aim to attach strong financial consequences when designing cost-control strategies to maintain treatment autonomy and may also aim to alter behaviors of physicians that do not show cost-reducing efforts. We study how regional, time and implementation variation in preferred drug policies within the German statutory health insurance affects physicians’ prescribing decisions for the high volume drug class of HMG-CoA-reductase inhibitors (Statins). We use a nationally representative panel of ambulatory care physicians between 2011 and 2014 to identify the treatment effects of changes in the preferred drug policy. Especially, we aim to identify whether the preferred drug policies are capable to alter the behaviors of physicians not compliant with the policy in place. Preliminary findings show that physicians appear to not adhere strongly to "soft" recommendations but instead use other non-preferred drugs (Atorvastatin) despite small differences in evidence -based efficacy. Future analyses will concentrate on studying other dimensions of compliance.

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, May 18 2020, 16:00 - 17:30, Maryna Ivets (CINCH) will present:

The Effect of Early Child Care on Children's Non-cognitive Development: Evidence from Germany

In this paper I explore the early child care (ECC) reform in Germany that substantially expanded supply of places to children under the age of three. I investigate the effect of early child care expansion on children's non-cognitive development in the short and medium run. I use data from the German Survey of Youth and Adolescents (KiGGS) and find evidence of some negative short-term effect for the cohorts of children with increased universal early childcare access, especially pronounced in boys.  However, when these kids reach primary-school ages I find no evidence of effect, thus indicating that the initial negative effect is not persistent in the medium term.

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.

New CINCH working paper


A new working paper has been added to the CINCH working paper series: “Parental Unemployment During the Great Recession and Childhood Adiposity” by Jonathan Briody.

Abstract: The incidence of adiposity in the early years of life has outgrown the prevalence rate in older children and adolescents globally; however, the relationships between unemployment and weight are predominantly studied in adults. This study examines the relationship between changing economic conditions during the Irish recession and child weight. Fixed effect logistic regression is used to examine the effects of parental unemployment on weight using the Growing up in Ireland infant cohort from 2008 to 2013. This study is the first to use longitudinal anthropometric measurements to estimate the impact of parental unemployment on children’s weight before, during and after a recession. Child growth charts are used to quantify children according to overweight for BMI, weight for age, and weight for height measures. For BMI, the probability of a child being overweight is 6 percentage points higher if either parent has experienced unemployment. For weight for age the probability is of similar magnitude across several alternative growth charts and definitions of adiposity. The analysis is repeated, cross-sectionally, for physical activity and diet to clarify mechanisms of effect. The probability of a child consuming healthy food and physical activity with an implied cost is lower if either parent becomes unemployed. A focus on excess adiposity in the early years is of crucial importance as if current trends are not addressed a generation of children may grow up with a higher level of chronic disease.

See all working papers.