Research Statement

This research statement provides an overview of my current and previous research, as well as my interests and fields of specialization.

I am a mixture of a health economist, labor economist and applied microeconometrician. In my papers, which have an empirical focus, I apply quantitative microeconometric techniques to health/labor/development questions and use a wide range of micro-level datasets from Europe, the U.S. and the developing world. My research often tries to bridge different fields, methodologies and evaluation designs (experimental, quasi-experimental and non-experimental).

My work offers contributions to the following areas:

1.  The effect of health insurance characteristics on individual behaviour.

Within this line of research, I investigate how different health insurance schemes affect: i) job-to-job mobility (Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 2006); ii) the demand for health services (Barros, Machado and Sanz-de-Galdeano, Journal of Health Economics, 2008); iii) the difference in lifetime expenditures between obese and non-obese individuals (Brunello, Michaud and Sanz-de-Galdeano, Economic Policy, 2009); iv) the timing of first births and total fertility rates (Machado and Sanz-de-Galdeano, Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, 2015); v) and household investment in risky financial assets (Christelis, Georgarakos and Sanz-de-Galdeano).

2.  Family and socioeconomic determinants of future health and human capital.

In Sanz-de-Galdeano and Vuri (Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 2007), we examine whether parental divorce negatively affects students’ performance as measured on standardized tests, while in Loureiro, Sanz-de-Galdeano and Vuri (Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 2010), we investigate the impact of parental smoking habits on their children’s smoking decisions. Another example is Christelis and Sanz-de-Galdeano (Journal of Health Economics, 2011), where we study the dynamics of smoking (which typically starts when individuals are very young), and provide new cross-country evidence on smoking persistence in Europe.

In a ongoing projects with Núria Rodríguez-Planas and Anastasia Terskaya we study how gender social norms shape the gender gap in risky and disruptive behaviors.

3.  Wage setting and the dynamics of individual wages.

In Sanz-de-Galdeano and Turunen (Economics Letters, 2006), we study the relationship between a worker’s pay and the unemployment rate in the local labour market for the euro area as a whole. In my previous and ongoing projects with Julián Messina and other coauthors we investigate the dynamics of individual wages and the effects of the minimum wage in developing countries. For example, in del Carpio, Messina and Sanz-de-Galdeano (Review of Income and Wealth, 2018) we explore the effects of the minimum wage on wage inequality, informality and poverty in Thailand, while in Messina and Sanz-de-Galdeano (American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2014) we measure downward nominal and real wage rigidities in Brazil and Uruguay, two countries in which inflation was successfully reduced after the introduction of stabilization policies in the 1990s, and we explore how the structural features of wage setting have changed with the macroeconomic environment.

In a related ongoing project with Julián Messina and Santiago Reyes we are using Brazilian matched employer-employee data to study the sources of wage growth in the formal sector.