I am a PhD Student at the Paris School of Economics (PSE), a Research Officer at the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP), London School of Economics (LSE), and a Consultant at the World Bank.
My research interests include well-being, health, and behaviour, policy and programme evaluation, and applied microeconometrics, with a particular focus on the non-monetary impacts of major events, infrastructure, and institutions.
We investigate the effect of urban land use on residential well-being in major German cities, using panel data from the German Socio-Economic Panel and cross-section data from the European Urban Atlas. We reduce concerns about endogeneity by employing fixed-effects (within) estimators, with individual and city of residence fixed effects, while controlling for a rich set of observables. The results show that access to green urban areas, such as gardens and parks, is positively associated with, whereas access to abandoned areas, such as waste or leftover land, is negatively associated with life satisfaction. The effects are strongest for residents who are older, accounting for up to a third of the size of the effect of being unemployed on life satisfaction. We calculate the marginal willingness-to-pay of residents in order to have access to green urban and abandoned areas in their surroundings, as well as the life-satisfaction maximising amounts of them. Finally, we provide a policy case study, while discussing limitations and avenues for future research.
Background: Neighborhood characteristics are important determinants of individual health and well-being. For example, characteristics such as noise and pollution affect health directly, while other characteristics affect health and well-being by either providing resources (e.g. social capital in the neighborhood), which individuals can use to cope with health problems, or limiting the use thereof (e.g. crime). This also suggests that there might be age differentials in the impact of these characteristics, since individuals at different stages of life might need different resources. However, there is a lack of empirical evidence on age differentials in associations between well-being, health, and neighborhood characteristics. Objective: This paper studies associations between a wide range of neighborhood characteristics with the health and well-being of residents of the greater Berlin area. In particular, we focus on differences in the effects between younger (aged 20-35) and older (aged 60+) residents. Methods: We used data from the Berlin Aging Study II (312 younger and 993 older residents of the Berlin metropolitan area in Germany). We used survey data on health and well-being, combined these with subjective perceptions of the neighborhood, and geo-referenced indicators on the neighborhood, e.g. amenities (public transport, physicians, and hospitals). Results: The results show that access to public transportation is associated with better outcomes on all measures of health and well-being, and social support is associated with higher life satisfaction and better mental health. There are considerable differences between both age groups: while the associations between access to public transport and health and well-being are similar for both age groups, neighborhood social capital shows stronger associations for older residents. However, the difference is not always statistically significant. Conclusion: Having access to services is associated with better health and well-being regardless of age. Local policy makers should focus on lowering barriers to mobility in order to improve the health and well-being of the population. Since the social capital of a neighborhood is associated with better health and well-being among older residents, investments that increase social capital (e.g. community centers) might be warranted in neighborhoods with higher shares of older residents.
We study the impact of the Fukushima disaster on environmental concerns, well-being, risk aversion, and political preferences in Germany, Switzerland, and the UK. In these countries, overall life satisfaction did not significantly decrease, but the disaster significantly increased environmental concerns among Germans. One underlying mechanism likely operated through the perceived risk of a similar meltdown of domestic reactors. After Fukushima, more Germans considered themselves as “very risk averse”. However, drastic German policy action shut down the oldest reactors, implemented the phaseout of the remaining ones, and proclaimed the transition to renewables. This shift in energy policy contributed to the subsequent decrease in environmental concerns, particularly among women, Green party supporters, and people living in close distance to the oldest reactors. In Germany, political support for the Greens increased significantly, whereas in Switzerland and the UK, this increase was limited to people living close to reactors.
Throughout the world, governments foster the deployment of wind power to mitigate negative externalities of conventional technologies, notably CO2 emissions. Wind turbines, however, are not free of externalities themselves, particularly interference with landscape aesthetics. We quantify the negative externalities associated with the presence of wind turbines using the life satisfaction approach. To this end, we combine household data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) with a novel panel dataset on over 20,000 installations. Based on geographical coordinates and construction dates, we establish causality in a difference-in-differences design. Matching techniques drawing on exogenous weather data and geographical locations of residence ensure common trend behaviour. We show that the construction of wind turbines close to households exerts significant negative external effects on residential well-being, although they seem both temporally and spatially limited. Robustness checks, including view shed analyses based on digital terrain models and placebo regressions, confirm our results.
We study whether raising instructional time can crowd out student pro-social behaviour. To this end, we exploit a large educational reform in Germany that has raised instructional time for high school students as a quasi-natural experiment. We find that, in line with a theoretical model on student time use, this rise has a negative and sizeable effect on volunteering, both at the intensive and at the extensive margin. It also affects political interest. There is no similar crowding out of scholastic involvement, but no substitution either. We conclude that instructional time plays an important role in shaping student pro-social behaviour.
We show that hosting the Olympic Games in 2012 had a positive impact on the life satisfaction and happiness of Londoners during the Games, compared to residents of Paris and Berlin. Notwithstanding issues of causal inference, the magnitude of the effects is equivalent to moving from the bottom to the fourth income decile. But they do not last very long: the effects are gone within a year. These conclusions are based on a novel panel survey of 26,000 individuals who were interviewed during the summers of 2011, 2012, and 2013, i.e. before, during, and after the event. The results are robust to selection into the survey and to the number of medals won.
This paper investigates the effect of local crime on well-being in Germany, using panel data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) and a unique, novel data set constructed from official police crime statistics, covering the time period between 1994 and 2012. It shows that local crime has a sizeable, negative effect on the life satisfaction of residents, makes them worry more often, and makes them worry more about crime in Germany as a whole. This effect is driven by violent crime, while property and other crime have no effects on well-being. Finally, we find only weak effects on mental health.
Aircraft noise is a particularly problematic source of noise as many airports are located in or near major cities and, as a result, densely populated areas are affected. Data from the Berlin Aging Study II (Berliner Altersstudie II, BASE-II), whose socio-economic module is based on the longitudinal Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) study which has been conducted since 1984, allows us to examine the effect of different levels of aircraft noise on the subjective wellbeing and health of the older residents of a major city, in this case Berlin. The findings show that the presence of aircraft noise, also measured using objective aircraft noise data, is associated with significantly reduced well-being, lower satisfaction with one’s living environment, and poorer health. The association between well-being and a crossing altitude reduced by 100 meters is given certain assumptions — for crossing altitudes of between 1,000 and 2,500m — comparable to an income loss of between 30 and 117 euros per month.
Together with a team from the Social Protection and Labor, and Poverty Global Practices, we are designing, implementing, and evaluating a large-scale grit intervention in FYR Macedonia, aimed at promoting a change in grit among middle schoolers to facilitate primary-to-secondary-school transitions through improved school performance and enhanced socio-emotional skills, and influence aspirations and expectations about the future. It is implemented as a multi-arm randomised control trial.
|Fellow||College for Interdisciplinary Educational Research (CIDER)|
|Best Poster Award||European Health Economics Association PhD Student-Supervisor Conference|
|FEEM Award (Young Economist Award)||Annual Conference of the European Economic Association|
|Best Paper Award||CINCH Academy|
|PhD Studies Stipend||German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)|
|Studies Abroad Stipend||Friedrich Ebert Foundation|
|Basic Studies Stipend||Friedrich Ebert Foundation|
|Why do we expect the Olympics to keep on giving? ||The Guardian|
|Feelgood factor from Olympics was like an £8,000 pay rise ||The Times|
|Olympia macht glücklich - zumindest in London |
|Neue Zürcher Zeitung|
|A Bid for the Happiness Olympics ||Wall Street Journal|
|Rio 2016: The high price of Olympic glory ||Financial Times|
|Kurzlebiges Olympia-Glück |
|Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung|
|Griechenland-Politik: Wissen schützt nicht vor Euroskepsis |
|Grün macht glücklich |
|Fukushima und die Effekte auf die Deutschen |
|London School of Economics Centre for Economic Performance Wellbeing Seminar||London, United Kingdom|
|22nd Annual Conference of the European Association for Environmental and Resource Economics||Zurich, Switzerland|
|26th Annual Conference of the European Public Choice Society||Freiburg, Germany|
|Annual Conference of the Royal Economic Society||Brighton, United Kingdom|
|8th Annual Conference of the German Association for Health Economics||Berlin, Germany|
|9th Ruhr Graduate School Doctoral Conference in Economics||Bochum, Germany|
|68th Annual Conference of the Gerontological Society of America||Orlando, FL, United States|
|16th Annual Conference of the German Economic Association||Muenster, Germany|
|2nd European Health Economics Association PhD Student-Supervisor Conference||Paris, France|
|30th Annual Congress of the European Economic Association||Mannheim, Germany|
|11th World Congress of the Econometric Society||Montreal, Canada|
|Understanding Society Scientific Conference 2015||Essex, United Kingdom|
|17th ZEW Summer Workshop for Young Economists||Mannheim, Germany|
|5th Annual European Political Science Association General Conference||Vienna, Austria|
|21st Annual Conference of the European Association for Environmental and Resource Economics||Helsinki, Finland|
|64th Annual Meeting of the French Economic Association||Rennes, France|
|20th Spring Meeting of Young Economists||Gent, Belgium|
|Annual Conference of the Scottish Economic Society||Perth, United Kingdom|
|24th Annual Conference of the European Public Choice Society||Groningen, Netherlands|
|79th Bi-Annual Conference of the International Atlantic Economic Society||Milan, Italy|
|Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei Energy and Environment Brown Bag Seminar||Milan, Italy|
|8th Ruhr Graduate School Doctoral Conference in Economics||Essen, Germany|
|London School of Economics Political Science and Political Economy Brown Bag Seminar||London, United Kingdom|
|67th Annual Conference of the Gerontological Society of America||Washington, DC, United States|
|78th Bi-Annual Conference of the International Atlantic Economic Society||Savannah, GA, United States|
|12th Annual Conference of the International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies||Berlin, Germany|
|15th Annual Conference of the German Economic Association||Hamburg, Germany|
|1st European Health Economics Association PhD Student-Supervisor Conference||Manchester, United Kingdom|
|29th Annual Conference of the European Economic Association||Toulouse, France|
|110th Annual Conference of the American Sociological Association||San Francisco, CA, United States|
|DIW Berlin Graduate Center Summer Workshop||Potsdam, Germany|
|11th International German Socio-Economic Panel User Conference||Berlin, Germany|
|1st Annual Conference of the International Association for Applied Econometrics||London, United Kingdom|
|28th Annual Conference of the European Society for Population Economics||Braga, Portugal|
|3rd Spatial Econometrics and Regional Economic Analysis Conference||Lodz, Poland|
|University of Oldenburg Doctoral Seminar – “Energy, Environment, and Well-Being”||Delmenhorst, Germany|
|CINCH Academy 2014||Essen, Germany|
|University of Hamburg Doctoral Seminar – “Empirische Arbeitsmarkt- und Sozialforschung”||Hamburg, Germany|
|Gemeinsame Tagung des Wissenschaftszentrums Berlin und der Sektion Familiensoziologie der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie – “Aktuelle Entwicklungen in der Familiensoziologie: Theorien, Methoden, Befunde”||Berlin, Germany|
|24th Annual Conference of the European Public Choice Society||Cambridge, United Kingdom|
|London School of Economics and Political Science Workshop – “Visions for the Future of Behavioural and Happiness Research”||London, United Kingdom|
|10th International Young Scholar German Socio-Economic Panel Symposium||Delmenhorst, Germany|
|7th Ruhr Graduate School Doctoral Conference in Economics||Dortmund, Germany|
|Youth and Adulthood - Transitions in the 2nd and 3rd Stages of Life Conference||Basel, Switzerland|
|OECD Conference on New Directions in Well-Being||Paris, France|
|DIW Berlin Graduate Center Summer Workshop||Potsdam, Germany|
|DIW Berlin Cluster Seminar - "Public Finances and Living Conditions”||Berlin, Germany|
|HEIRs Conference on Public Happiness||Rome, Italy|