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PhD Defence

Essays on wealth, health, and data collection

Wednesday 21 November 2018
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden


  • Prof. K.P. Goudswaard
  • Prof. C.L.J. Caminada


PhD defences are free; you do not have to register.


One of the aims of social insurance programs is to provide a financial safety net to individuals when encountering adverse circumstances. However, apart from offering mere protection, a system of social insurance can also be designed with the aim to increase overall welfare. In order to make the appropriate design decisions one needs to understand how individuals react to both negative shocks, such as health and wealth shocks, and the system put in place to protect them from these shocks. To gain understanding on such behavioral effects, access to high quality microdata is crucial. 

Based on matched survey and administrative records the first chapter of the thesis explains to what extent individuals incorporated the wealth declines incurred during the recent financial crisis in their retirement expenditure goals. This knowledge helps us understand to what extent people ‘self insure’ against wealth losses and how likely it is that individuals unexpectedly have to change their consumption patterns at retirement. In a similar fashion, the second chapter used survey data to explain how consumption preferences change when someone becomes ill, informing the optimal design of health insurance and retirement plans. The third chapter shows, based on register data from a workplace reintegration provider, if and under what circumstances graded return-to-work can effectively reduce one’s probability of entering disability insurance. The thesis concludes with a chapter evaluating a novel technique to sample households to participate in surveys similar to the on es used as input to the first chapters of this book. 

PhD dissertations

PhD dissertations by Leiden PhD students are available digitally after the defence through the Leiden Repository, that offers free access to these PhD dissertations. Please note that in some cases a dissertation may be under embargo temporarily and access to its full-text version will only be granted later.

Press contact

Maarten Muns, Scientific Communications Adviser, Leiden University
+31 71 527 3282

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