Research Statement

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

My fields of specialization are health economics, labour economics and applied microeconometrics.  In my papers, which have an empirical focus, I apply quantitative microeconometrics techniques to various health/labor/development questions and use a wide range of of micro-level datasets from Europe, the U.S. and the developing world (especially from Asian and Latin American countries). Although focused, my research does not fit neatly into one bucket or the other, and it often tries to bridge different fields and methodologies.

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 job-to-job mobility (Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 2006), the demand for health services (Barros, Machado and Sanz-de-Galdeano, Journal of Health Economics, 2008), the difference in lifetime expenditures between obese and non-obese individuals (Brunello, Michaud and Sanz-de-Galdeano, Economic Policy, 2009), the timing of first births and total fertility rates (Machado and Sanz-de-Galdeano, SERIEs – Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, 2015) and household investment in risky financial assets (Christelis, Georgarakos and Sanz-de-Galdeano).

2.  The effect of culture, parental decisions and past own behaviour on 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 recent project with Núria Rodríguez-Planas we study how culture affects teenage smoking habits and, in particular, the gender smoking gap.

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, while in my previous and ongoing projects with Julián Messina we investigate the dynamics of individual wages in developing countries. For example, 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 Gonzaga, Messina and Sanz-de-Galdeano (in progress), a natural extension of the previous paper, we concentrate on a fairly understudied aspect of the minimum wage: its role as a source of wage indexation. Additionally, in other ongoing project with Messina, we study the impact of the minimum wage on wage inequality, informality and poverty in Thailand.