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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: “Learning Intensity Effects in Students’ Mental and Physical Health – Evidence from a Large Scale Natural Experiment in Germany” by Sarah Hofmann and Andrea Mühlenweg.

In this study, we analyze health effects of a recent education reform in Germany exposing students to increased schooling intensity. The reform shortened the higher secondary education track by one year. As the overall curriculum required for graduation was held constant, this led to an increase in instruction hours in the remaining school years. The reform has been introduced at different points in time across federal states, providing us with a difference-in-difference setup for analysis. Based on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP), our results imply that the reform significantly reduced adolescents’ self-rated mental health status. The overall effect on the mental component summary score (MCS) is about a quarter of a standard deviation. Examining MCS sub-dimensions, we find detrimental effects of the reform on vitality and on emotional balance. We also observe significant impacts on self-assessed general physical health.

See all working papers.

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.