Essays in Decision Making

Item Type Thesis (Doctoral)

This doctoral thesis deals with topics related to health, old age provision, and regional economics, which are empirically investigated in three self-contained studies. First, I analyze the effects of physical activity on cognitive outcomes based on individual data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) 2011–2015. To address selection into engagement in physical activity, I exploit the panel structure of the data and apply a semi-parametric matching approach. The results suggest that especially moderate physical activity positively impacts cognitive abilities. However, continuous engagement in moderate physical activity is necessary to reduce age-related cognitive decline. At a higher intensity of physical activity, there is a crowding out effect of alternative cognitively demanding leisure activities. In the second paper, we study the advance withdawal of retirement assets for home purchase by analyzing a recent reform. A change in down payment requirements made such early withdrawals less attractive, as borrowers are obliged to provide a larger amount of non-pension equity for a home purchase. Using individual-level data from a large Swiss occupational pension provider, we find that the share of individuals who withdrew in a given year dropped by one sixth after the reform. For the withdrawers, the average share of pension assets withdrawn decreased by 5.1 percentage points, mainly driven by individuals with lower levels of pension wealth and of older age. The third paper studies the sentiments of local residents towards asylum seekers by analyzing their residential location choices in the proximity of asylum centers. We address the key endogeneity issue of immigrant sorting by exploiting the random allocation key that assigns asylum seekers to municipalities in Switzerland. Using individual-level data from the universe of the Swiss population, we find that relative to the overall probability of moving at least once per year, those living close to an open asylum center are 7.96% more likely to move away than individuals living further away. The effect is driven by renters and highly educated individuals. The impact is larger in right-wing voting municipalities for moves within the same canton.

Authors Stadelmann, Sabrina
Referent Bütler, Monika (Prof. Dr.) (Referent) & Christelis, Dimitris (Dr.) (Koreferent)
Language English
Keywords Volkswirtschaftslehre; Altersversorgung; Gesundheitsförderung; Regionale Mobilität; EDIS-5076
Subjects economics
HSG Classification not classified
HSG Profile Area None
Date 2021
Publisher Universität St. Gallen
Place of Publication St.Gallen
Additional Information Lechner, Michael (Prof. Dr.); Füss, Roland (Prof. Dr.) (Dissertationskomitee)
Depositing User Ruedi Lindegger
Date Deposited 23 Feb 2021
Last Modified 02 Mar 2021 08:15


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Stadelmann, Sabrina: Essays in Decision Making. Thesis, 2021.

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