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.

My work offers contributions to the following areas:

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

Within this line of research, I have investigated 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, Journal of Health Economics, 2020).

2.  Early determinants of future health and human capital.

Within this line of research, I have investigated: i) the effect of parental divorce on students’ performance as measured by standardized tests (Sanz-de-Galdeano and Vuri, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 2007); ii) the impact of parental smoking habits on their children’s smoking decisions (Loureiro, Sanz-de-Galdeano and Vuri, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 2010); iii) the dynamics of smoking (which typically starts when individuals are young) across countries (Christelis and Sanz-de-Galdeano, Journal of Health Economics, 2011); iv) the short- and long-run effects of high school peers’ genetic predisposition to high BMI —measured by grade-mates’ average BMI polygenic scores— on adolescent and adult obesity in the U.S. (Brunello, Sanz-de-Galdeano and Terskaya, Journal of Health Economics, 2020); v) how the effect of individuals’ genetic predisposition to higher BMI —measured by BMI polygenic scores— changes over the life-cycle for several cohorts (Sanz-de-Galdeano, Terskaya and Upegui, PLoS One, 2020); vi) the association between gender equality and the math gender gap among high-school students in countries with different levels of development (Anghel, Rodríguez-Planas and Sanz-de-Galdeano, Economics of Education Review, 2020).

In two ongoing projects within this research area I am currently exploring: i) how gender social norms shape the gender gap in risky and disruptive behaviors from adolescence to adulthood (with Núria Rodríguez-Planas and Anastasia Terskaya); ii) how parents respond to children’s educational genetic endowments and to differences in educational geneticendowments among siblings (with Anastasia Terskaya).

3.  Wage setting and the dynamics of individual wages.

Within this line of research, I have investigated: i) the relationship between a worker’s pay and the unemployment rate in the local labour market for the euro area as a whole (Sanz-de-Galdeano and Turunen, Economics Letters, 2006); ii) the effects of the minimum wage on wage inequality, informality and poverty in Thailand (del Carpio, Messina and Sanz-de-Galdeano, Review of Income and Wealth, 2019); iii) the presence of downward wage rigidities in two emerging countries, Brazil and Uruguay, while assessing how the structural features of wage setting changed with the macroeconomic environment, and how those changes interacted with institutional characteristics in each country (Messina and Sanz-de-Galdeano, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2014).

In two ongoing project within this line of research I am currently studying: i) the returns to formal sector experience in Brazil, and, in particular, who benefits the most from learning and the job, and the role played by firms in shaping workers’ wage paths (with Julián Messina and Santiago Reyes); ii) how co-workers’ average ability influences individual wages, and whether peers of the same sex have more influence than peers of the opposite sex, which would be consistent with the predictions of economic models of behaviour and interactions that incorporate the psychology and sociology of identity (with Julián Messina and Anastasia Terskaya).