Research Seminars

Research Seminar Series offers a unique opportunity for our Faculty to engage with leading international scholars. Distinguished researchers from the world's top universities are invited to present their latest research and engage in lively discussions on the latest trends and developments in various areas of economics. All seminars are conducted in English and are comprised of a 50-minute presentation followed by a 10-minute discussion session. These seminars are open to the public, and we warmly welcome spontaneous attendance. 

Coordinators: Martin Guzi, Štěpán Mikula, Matteo M. Marini and Luca Fumarco.

Upcoming seminars

12 Oct


The impact of high temperatures on performance in work-related activities

Matteo Picchio (Politecnico di Ancona) ESF Room P302b Personal website

High temperatures can have a negative effect on work-related activities. Labor productivity may go down because mental health or physical health is worse when it is too warm. Workers may experience difficulties concentrating when it is hot or they have to reduce effort in order to cope with heat. We investigate how temperature affects performance of male professional tennis players. We use data about outdoor singles matches from 2003 until 2021. Our identification strategy relies on the plausible exogeneity of short-term daily temperature variations in a given tournament from the average temperature over the same tournament. We find that performance significantly decreases with ambient temperature. The magnitude of the temperature effect is age-specific and skill-specific. Older and less-skilled players suffer more from high temperatures than younger and more skilled players do. The effect of temperature on performance is smaller when there is more at stake. Our findings also suggest that there is adaptation to high temperatures: the effects are smaller if the heat lasts for several days.

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18 Oct


Trading Social Status for Genetics in Marriage Markets: Evidence From Great Britain and Norway

David Hugh-Jones (University of East Anglia) ESF Room S306 Personal website

Under social-genetic assortative mating (SGAM), socio-economic status (SES) and genetically inherited traits are both assets in marriage markets, become associated in spouse pairs, and are passed together to future generations. This gives a new explanation for persistent intergenerational inequality and observed genetic differences between rich and poor. We model SGAM and test for it in large surveys in two countries. Spouses of earlier-born siblings have genetics predicting more education. This effect is mediated by individuals' own education and income. Thus, shocks to SES are reflected in the DNA of subsequent generations. Under SGAM, genetic variation is endogenous to economic institutions.

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19 Oct


Drug Copayments, Child Outcomes, and Intra-family Spillovers

Jakub Červený (Institute for Health Care Analyses) ESF Room P302b Personal website

Reducing out-of-pocket costs of medication has been shown to lead to higher use initiation rates in childhood. Less is known, however, about the potentially asymmetric effects of increases in such costs, resulting from a loss in insurance coverage. This paper looks at the expiration of prescription drug copay waivers for children in Slovakia to investigate changes in pharmaceutical use resulting from increasing out-of-pocket costs. Leveraging age thresholds for copay waivers, this paper uses event study analyses to show that increases in out-of-pocket costs reduce prescription drug use, as well as average spending. Using a dataset capturing the universe of prescriptions filled between 2016–2018, we are further able to understand these effects among both chronic and non-chronic users. We trace the effects of these changes in prescription drug use to down-stream health consequences for children, as measured by GP visits and hospitalizations. Linking these data to social security records, we are further able to understand spillovers onto parental health and employment.

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26 Oct


Pollution abatement and lobbying in a Cournot Game. An agent-based modelling approach

Marco Catola (Maastricht University) ESF Room P302b Personal website

The application of Agent-Based Modelling to Game Theory allows us to benefit from the strengths of both approaches, and to enrich the study of games when solutions are difficult to elicit analytically. Using an agent-based approach to sequential games, however, poses some issues that result in a few applications of this type. We contribute to this aspect by applying the agent-based approach to a lobbying game involving environmental regulation and firms’ choice of abatement. We simulate this game and test the robustness of its game-theoretical prediction against the results obtained. We find that while theoretical predictions are generally consistent with the simulated results, this novel approach highlights a few differences. First, the market converges to a green state for a larger number of cases with respect to theoretical predictions. Second, simulations show that it is possible for this market to converge to a polluting state in the very long run. This result is not envisaged by theoretical predictions. Sensitivity experiments on the main model parameters confirm the robustness of our findings.

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2 Nov


Vendula Stepanikova: Education and Inequities in Social Health Protection Programs: Evidence from Pakistan

Vendula Stepanikova (University of Erlangen–Nuremberg) ESF Room P303 Personal website

This paper investigates the role of education as a possible barrier to the utilization of social protection programs. We focus on a large-scale free health insurance innovation in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. We are able to combine household panel data including detailed health information as well as household census data with administrative data on insurance enrollment and utilization. We show descriptively as well as controlling for temporal and spatial differences in the enrolment campaign, that education positively correlates with the utilization of the scheme, and that this correlation exists for both male and female education. Moreover, we exploit data on public school construction and use the establishment of girl schools as an instrument for local female education for causal inference. We find that female education significantly increases health insurance utilization on the individual as well as household level. The results suggest that this pro-poor social health protection program entails implicit barriers, making it less egalitarian than possibly intended.

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23 Nov


A Play and Learn O'Clock? On Time-use Among Children in Tanzania

Nita Handastya (University of Siena) ESF Room P302b Personal website

This study examines how children spend their time differently across four categories of activities: chores, care, learning, and leisure. In particular, I am interested in the difference that between the decision to perform the activities and the hours they dedicate among boys and girls. The data used in this study is taken from the Tanzanian Integrated Labor Force (ILFS) survey, specifically the Time-Use module. The choice of country in particular is an attempt to describe the dynamic of time-use within a household in one of the developing countries, specifically from Sub-Saharan Africa. To estimate the probability of performing the role and time spent on each category, I use Cragg’s double hurdle model to handle the zero-inflated nature of the dependent variable. This study contributes to the understanding of gender gap issues in time use among children.

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7 Dec


Information Revelation in Teacher Assignment: Welfare and Distributional Effects.

Mariagrazia Cavallo (University of Bristol) ESF Room P201

This paper investigates the efficiency and distributional consequences of information frictions in centralized matching markets. Motivated by the Italian teacher reassignment system, where teachers are only partially informed about the available vacancies, I use comprehensive administrative data on teacher applications and a newly collected dataset on public announcements about teacher retirements to document a possible trade-off between efficiency and redistribution. I then build and estimate a dynamic application portfolio choice model to estimate teacher preferences. In a counterfactual analysis, I quantitatively evaluate the policy implications of an alternative policy consisting in revealing full information. Finally, I propose an alternative mechanism that would perform better than the mechanism currently used in Italy.

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Past events

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