Skip to main content

Welcome

CINCH - Health Economics Research Center

Virtual Essen Health Economics Seminar

03.11.2020

On Monday, November 9 2020, 16:00 - 17:30, Martin Huber (Université de Fribourg) will present:

Double machine learning for (weighted) dynamic treatment effects

We consider evaluating the causal effects of dynamic treatments, i.e. of multiple treatment sequences in various periods, based on double machine learning to control for observed, time-varying covariates in a data-driven way under a selection-on-observables assumption. To this end, we make use of so-called Neyman-orthogonal score functions, which imply the robustness of treatment effect estimation to moderate misspecifications of the dynamic outcome and treatment models. This robustness property permits approximating outcome and treatment models by double machine learning even under high dimensional covariates and is combined with data splitting to prevent overfitting. In addition to effect estimation for the total population, we consider weighted estimation that permits assessing dynamic treatment effects in specific subgroups, e.g. among those treated in the first treatment period. We demonstrate that the estimators are asymptotically normal and root-n consistent under specific regularity conditions and investigate their finite sample properties in a simulation study. Finally, we apply the methods to the Job Corps study in order to assess different sequences of training programs under a large set of covariates.

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

27.10.2020

On Monday, November 2 2020, 16:00 - 17:30, Libertad González (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) will present:

Prenatal Transfers and Infant Health: Evidence from Spain

We estimate the impact of a cash transfer to women on their (future) children’s birth outcomes, exploiting the introduction of a universal child benefit in Spain. Using administrative data from birth records and a regression discontinuity approach, we find that low-income women who received the benefit were much less likely to give birth to low birth-weight children, several years down the road. A 2,500-euro transfer led to a 2.2 decline in low birth-weight status among women in poor households. Given that about 6% of children were low birth-weight, this represents a 36% reduction. We find that the effect is driven by both longer gestation and faster intrauterine growth. We provide some evidence of improved maternal health behaviors and outcomes. Recent research suggests that benefits targeting pregnant women may be more effective than later interventions, given the strong persistence of fetal health effects. Our results suggest that the impact may be even stronger if women are targeted even earlier, before conception.

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

21.10.2020

On Monday, October 26 2020, 16:00 - 17:30, Tobias Müller (Bern University of Applied Sciences) will present:

Rents for Pills: How Financial Incentives Influence Physician Behavior

We study the "perfect agent" hypothesis by exploiting a recent regime-change in drug dispensing introducing financial incentives into the drug prescription decisions of physicians in two large Swiss cities. Using detailed physician-, patient- and product-level claims data from a large health insurer, we find that dispensing leads to significant increases in drug spending per patient by up to 15%. Our analysis is indicative that dispensing operates through two main channels: a) physicians increase the number of packages prescribed to patients which is compatible with a package size channel and b) physicians switch to more profitable brands implying a cherry-picking response. On the other hand, our findings suggest that the financial rewards inherent in dispensing do not alter the dosage-decisions of doctors nor do they result in practice style changes. Overall, our analysis shows that dispensing induces physicians to engage in rent-seeking behavior resulting in avoidable costs for the health care system.

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.