From 4 to 6 September 2013, the 22nd edition of the European Workshops on Econometrics and Health Economics was hosted by the Health Economics Group of Erasmus School of Economics. These workshops are a well-established and highly regarded series of annual conferences that have been running for twenty one years. This 22nd edition was sponsored by Erasmus Happiness Economics Research Organization, Tinbergen Institute and Erasmus School of Economics and held in view of the celebrations of the first Centennial of Erasmus University Rotterdam.
The workshop contributed to external recognition for Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) and our Health Economics group, as an international hub for research in applied health economics. The programme had not only often featured papers that went on to win the best PhD student paper award at World Congresses of the International Health Economics Association, but also papers from internationally renowned econometricians such as Pravin Trivedi, Maarten Lindeboom, Frank Windmeijer, William H. Greene or Badi Baltagi, among others.
This year, the programme even included a paper co-authored by the winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2000, James Heckman. A selection of papers presented at this workshop will be published in a special issue of the international academic journal Health Economics, a leading academic journal in the field.
The scientific content of this workshop focused on new and innovative methodologies in applied health economics. One good example was the study about effects of informal caregiving on mental and physical health in Germany. The results of this study could be relevant in The Netherlands where there have been efforts to promote the use and provision of informal caregiving, such as with personal care budgets. Another paper by Italian researchers dealt with one of the issues that attracts most attention of health economists worldwide, that of the effect of education on health. Even in The Netherlands, people who finished university or college live, on average, 6 to 7 years longer than those who only completed primary school, and it is believed that part of this difference could be due to different lifestyles. That Italian study analyses whether the higher educated are in fact more likely to have a healthy lifestyle including, for example, seeking preventive health care, engaging in physical activity, eating healthy and not smoking. Researchers from the UVA presented results of a study of early retirement and mortality in The Netherlands, and French researchers talked about the effects of increasing retirement age and working life on mortality, in France. This too fits the current Dutch policy context, given the recent decision to increase the state pension (AOW) age starting from next year gradually until 66 years in 2019 and reaching 67 years old in 2023.
The Management Team of Erasmus School of Economics would like to thank all (staff) members who participated in these workshops, in particular Dr Teresa Bago d'Uva and Dr Pilar García Gómez for their organizational efforts and skills.