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CINCH - Health Economics Research Center

Monday Health Economics Seminar


On Monday December 04, 2017, 14:00 - 15:30 Friederike Arndt (CINCH) will present:

Physician drug choices based on preferred drug quotas – a retrospective analysis of physician association policies in Germany

Due to rapidly increasing health expenditures, many countries have implemented cost-control strategies in the health care sector by regulating physician treatment discretion. We study how regional variation in preferred drug lists within the German statutory health insurance affects physicians’ prescribing behavior with respect to compliance and efficiency. We use a nationally representative panel of ambulatory care physicians between 2011 and 2014 linked to marketing data to study the effects of variation in preferred statin drug quotas in three German regions. We apply a difference-in-difference econometric framework by comparing physician prescribing behaviour in regions that were and were not subject to policy interventions, respectively. We find that the composition of physician patient base with respect to health insurance (statutory vs. private) significantly influenced the level of compliance with the preferred drug and the market concentration of products prescribed. The effect of abolishing the quota policy did not change physician behaviour on statutory health insurance patients indicating that physicians have internalized the preferred drug regulation after abolishment.

Room: WST-C.02.11, Weststadttürme Berliner Platz 6-8, Essen

To find more on upcoming seminars, click here.

Monday Health Economics Seminar


On Monday November 27, 2017, 14:00 - 15:30 Silke Anger (IAB) will present:

The Labour Market Consequences of Enforcing Right-Handedness: Sinister Results from an Educational Policy

Until the beginning of the 20th century, it was a common educational practice in most Western countries to enforce right-handedness to spare naturally born left-handed children disadvantages in later life and especially in the labor market. Our study investigates whether this “childhood intervention policy” was successful in improving labor market and other economic outcomes of natural left-handers in Germany, where handedness conversion was officially part of the educational policy up to the 1960s and practiced even much longer. We distinguish between three groups, the natural right-handers, the natural left-handers, and the “converted” left-handers, i.e. natural left-handers who use the right hand for writing. Furthermore, we exploit variation in exposure to handedness conversion due to differences in educational policies over time and across federal states. We find that the earnings of natural left-handers in Germany do not differ significantly from those of right-handers. In contrast, converted left-handers suffer from substantial wages losses, even when controlling for a large number of socio-economic characteristics. We look at potential mechanisms, and find that some personality traits differ significantly between natural and converted left-handers and that the group of converted left-handers performs less well in an cognitive skill test. We conclude that handedness conversion can be a massive interference for individuals’ physical and psychological development.

Room: WST-C.02.11, Weststadttürme Berliner Platz 6-8, Essen

To find more on upcoming seminars, click here.

New CINCH working paper


A new working paper has been added to the CINCH working paper series: “The Effects of Collecting Income Taxes on Social Security Benefits” by John Bailey Jones and Yue Li.

Since 1983, Social Security benefits have been subject to income taxation, a provision that can significantly increase the marginal income tax rate for older individuals. To assess the impact of this tax, we construct and calibrate a detailed life-cycle model of labor supply, saving, and Social Security claiming. We find that in a long-run stationary environment, replacing the taxation of Social Security benefits with a revenue-equivalent change in the payroll tax would increase labor supply, consumption, and welfare. From an ex-ante perspective an equally desirable reform would be to make the portion of benefits subject to income taxes completely independent of other income.

See all working papers.