Working Papers


We provide evidence that the social norm (expectation) of work has a detrimental causal effect on the mental well-being of individuals not able to abide by it.

Adverse conditions in early life can have consequential impacts on individuals' health in older age. In one of the first papers on this topic, Barker and Osmond (1986) show a strong positive relationship between infant mortality rates in the 1920s and ischaemic heart disease in the 1970s.

This paper is motivated by the dearth of statistical capacity in the Middle East North Africa region and the unprecedented economic collapse in Lebanon.

We present a theory of human capital, with its two most essential components, health capital and, what we term, skill capital, endogenously determined within the model.

Economists and social scientists have debated the relative importance of nature (one's genes) and nurture (one's environment) for decades, if not centuries. This debate can now be informed by the ready availability of genetic data in a growing number of social science datasets.

This paper investigates impacts, mechanisms and selection effects of prenatal exposure to multiple shocks, by exploiting the unique natural experiment of the Dutch Hunger Winter.

Early Childhood Interventions (ECI) offering disadvantaged children preschool and family support services in the US show long-lasting health impacts. Can these benefits hold when these programs are offered to all children in contexts with universal healthcare?

Recent estimates are that about 150 million children under five years of age are stunted, with substantial negative consequences for their schooling, cognitive skills, health, and economic productivity.

The lockdown imposed following the COVID-19 pandemic of spring 2020 dramatically changed the daily lives and routines of millions of people worldwide.

Medicare is the largest government insurance program in the United States, providing coverage for over 60 million people in 2018. This paper analyzes the effects of Medicare insurance on health for a group of people in urgent need of medical care – people with cancer.

Building on early animal studies, 20th-century researchers increasingly explored the fact that early events – ranging from conception to childhood – affect a child’s health trajectory in the long-term.

We compare estimates of the effects of education on health and health behaviour using two different instrumental variables in the UK Biobank data. One is based on a conventional natural experiment while the other, known as Mendelian randomization (MR), is based on genetic variants.

Birth weight is the most widely used indicator of neonatal health. It has been consistently shown to relate to a variety of outcomes throughout the life cycle. Lower birth weight babies have worse health and cognition from childhood, lower educational attainment, wages, and longevity.

Recent advances have led to the discovery of specific genetic variants that predict educational attainment.

Do households value access to free health insurance when making labor supply decisions? We answer this question using the introduction of universal health insurance in Mexico, the Seguro Popular (SP), in 2002.

We evaluate the medium-term impacts of treating maternal depression on women’s financial empowerment and parenting decisions. We leverage experimental variation induced by a cluster-randomized control trial that provided psychotherapy to perinatally depressed mothers in rural Pakistan.

Screening interventions can produce very different treatment outcomes, depending on the reasons why patients had been unscreened in the first place. Economists have paid scant attention to these complexities and their implications for evaluating screening programs.

We present a theory of the relation between health and retirement that generates testable predictions regarding the interaction of health, wealth and financial incentives in retirement decisions.

The probability of being depressed increases dramatically during adolescence and is linked to a range of adverse outcomes. Many studies show a correlation between religiosity and mental health, yet the question remains whether the link is causal. The key issue is selection into religiosity.

The Grossman model is the canonical theory of the demand for health and health investment. This paper provides strong support for the model’s canonical status. Yet several authors have identified at least four significant limitations to the literature spawned by Grossman’s seminal 1972 papers.

This paper presents a unified theory of human capital with both health capital and, what we term, skill capital endogenously determined within the model.