Empirical analysis of social policy | Munich Center for the Economics of Aging - MEA


Summer Semester 2019

Empirical analysis of social policy

Course Details

Prof. Dr. Joachim Winter , Dr. Irene Ferrari
MEA seminar room, Amalienstra├če 33, room 313 (3rd floor)
What is insurance and why do individuals value it? Why should countries have health insurance, unemployment insurance, and other forms of social insurance? What are the problems related to it (asymmetric information, moral hazard)? How do pension systems work and how do the affect labor supply and other outcomes, for instance fertility? What are the effects of retirement on health? How should unemployment insurance be designed? The aim of the seminar is to disucss various social insurance arrangements and the incentives they create, with a focus on US and European institutions. As empirical analyses are key to answering most questions, the papers we assign will focus on empirical questions and the data and econometric methods used to answer them. In particular, we will devote much emphasis to empirical studies which investigate individual reactions to changes in social insurance institutions. For example, what are the effects of raising the statutory retirement age on retirement behavior? How does the duration of unemployment benefits influence the probability of returning to the labor market? How do changes in disability insurance generosity influence health? What is the extent of moral hazard and adverse selection in health insurance? Each student will be assigned one scientific paper and tasked with summarizing and discussing it in her or his term paper. The evaluation will be based on the term paper (approx. 30.000 characters) and the seminar presentation (30 minutes) with equal weight. The term papers will be written in the semester break, between mid February and late April. We will offer three different four-week writing periods in that time span (early, intermediate, late). The blocked seminar will take place in Munich on two Fridays in May or June, details to be announced.