Overcoming Peer Pressure to Drink (upon request)
(with Bernd Leisen and Vanessa Mertins)
Excessive alcohol consumption imposes large costs to society and individuals often feel pressured by their peers to drink. We conduct a series of field experiments with endogenously formed peer groups. We measure the willingness to abstain from drinking and we randomly provide feedback to peers about their alcohol levels and pay bonuses to drink below their peers. We find that peer pressure to drink is high with an average willingness to abstain for an hour by €29.47. Highly intoxicated individuals lower their drinking levels through feedback but not through additional monetary incentives. Through an additional online experiment during the time of Covid-19 restrictions, we find that the response to peer pressure on the demand side is consistent with anticipated pressure provided by the supply side.
The Unintended Consequences of Health Insurance (WP)
The purchase of private health insurance is clearly beneficial in the absence of public insurance. However, it is difficult to evaluate individual costs and benefits when baseline coverage exists for everyone. I study the consequences of being privately insured in a world where universal health care is the baseline. The problem of selection is approached through a regression kink design in conjunction with a policy implemented in Australia in the year 2000 which punishes agents for delaying the purchase of private health to later in life. By investigating the benefits with an administrative tax panel, this study reveals potential hidden costs and unintended consequences of private health insurance under universal health care.
Vaccination Demand and Acceptance: Key Behavioral Insights (upon request)
(with Marianna Baggio)
Work in Progress (Selected):
The Returns to Elective Surgery
(with Luke Chu)
Elective surgery is becoming increasingly common due to the trend of an overall aging society. The impact from elective surgery is unclear and undertreatment as well as overtreatment could be a problem. Due to the infeasibility of randomization, only association studies exist for which the direction of the bias is unknown. We study the returns from elective surgery using the regression discontinuity design by focusing on New Zealand’s national booking system that determines the scarce resource allocation of elective surgeries to citizens in need at thresholds. By investigating the returns to surgery via administrative data, we will be able to make statements about the benefits of costs of differential types of surgeries in the short- and long-run.
Behavioral Welfare of Health Insurance Coverage
(with Marco Castillo and Ragan Petrie)