For a German summary see IZA Standpunkt 101
Joint with René Glawion, Peter G. Kremsner, Timo Mitze, Gernot J. Müller, Dominik Papies, Felix Schulz and Klaus Wälde,
2022, PLOS ONE
Various forms of contact restrictions have been adopted in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Around February 2021, rapid testing appeared as a new policy instrument. Some claim it may serve as a substitute for contact restrictions. We study the strength of this argument by evaluating the effects of a unique policy experiment: In March and April 2021, the city of Tübingen set up a testing scheme while relaxing contact restrictions. We compare case rates in Tübingen county to an appropriately identified control unit. We employ the synthetic control method. We base interpretations of our findings on an extended SEIR model. The experiment led to an increase in the reported case rate. This increase is robust across alternative statistical specifications. This is also due to more testing leading initially to more reported cases. An epidemiological model that corrects for ‘more cases due to more testing’ and ‘reduced testing and reporting during the Easter holiday’ confirms that the overall effect of the experiment led to more infections. The number of rapid tests were not sufficiently high in this experiment to compensate for more contacts and thereby infections caused by relaxing contact restrictions.
Work in progress
The effect of an editorial connection in the peer review process of economic journals
This study investigates whether economic researchers have an equal chance of publishing in highly ranked economic journals or if those with a connection to an editor have an advantage. Panel data on researchers who have been connected to an editor at some point is used, covering the last 31 years of economic publishing in 28 renowned economic journals. The data is analyzed to determine how a researcher's number of publications in a journal is affected by their connections to the editor(s) of this journal, such as prior co-authorship or affiliation with the same institution. By assuming that the timing of editor appointments is exogenous, conditional on author-journal, journal-year and author experience-fixed effects, this study provides causal estimates. The findings suggest that editors' past co-authors and current colleagues at the same institution increase their publication rate by 7% and 17%, respectively, during the years of the connected editor's appointment. Multiple heterogeneity analyses are conducted, examining factors such as proximity between authors and editors, gender, time, and differences in journal type. The results cannot exclude the possibility of editorial favoritism and suggest that editors positively impact the productivity of members of their networks.
Dissertation Paths: Advisors and Students in the Economics Ph.D. Production Function, joint with Joshua Angrist
Interdisciplinary research in economics, joint with Tristan Stahl
Interdisciplinarity is seen as a desirable aspect of research projects that is often promoted by research institutions. However, our study reveals that interdisciplinary research projects are associated with lower citation counts and worse journal placements. These findings show that there is a misalignment between the goals of research institutions and researchers, because researchers need highly ranked publications for their promotions. We study a sample of over 13,000 research articles published in economics journals in 2011 and 2012 and present three novel measures of interdisciplinarity. We conduct a Specification Curve (SC) Analysis, which allows for a transparent discussion of data analytic decisions and the visualization of their impact on effect sizes. Furthermore, we find that conducting interdisciplinary research is not a high-risk, high-reward endeavor but instead: that citation counts to interdisciplinary articles do not catch up with those of non-interdisciplinary articles over time. Our results are not due to a false classification of cross disciplinary articles as having low interdisciplinarity, as shown by a robustness exercise where we include business articles and we show that effect sizes are more emphasized for high-ability researchers. The results of this study may be used to better align researcher and institutional goals.
Changes in health and efficiency outcomes induced by electronic dispatch protocols, joint with Reyn van Ewijk
While much is known about emergency health care provision in hospitals, research about the time before patients enter hospitals is scarce. Using the introduction of electronic dispatch protocols (EDP), a software for supporting dispatchers in structuring and standardizing their calls, this research evaluates potential benefits of EDP software. We have dispatch center specific data on emergency call and vehicle allocation and registry data on death causes at our disposal. With a staggered differences in differences approach with county and time fixed effects and allowing for county specific time trends, we find that EDP software (i) increases the average time until an emergency vehicle gets alarmed by 4.3% and reduces the number of extreme alarm times (ii) does lead to more false positive and fewer false negative alarms (iii) does lead to a significant reduction of fatalities from acute myocardial infarction. Taken together, our results suggest that the usage of electronic dispatch protocols has a big impact on the functioning of the emergency system, resulting in fewer deaths from emergencies that crucially rely on a fast treatment.