Sebastian Vollmer

Sebastian Vollmer
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen | GAUG · Department of Economics

PhD in Economics

About

226
Publications
70,252
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6,067
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Publications

Publications (226)
Article
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We present experimental evidence on the impact of the use of double-fortified salt in school-meals on anemia, cognition, and the learning outcomes of primary school children in rural Bihar, one of the poorest regions of India. We find that year-long intervention had statistically significant positive impacts on hemoglobin levels and reduced anemia...
Article
We use the impact of the Dissolution of the English monasteries in 1535 to test the commercialization hypothesis about the roots of long-run English economic development. Before the Dissolution, monastic lands were relatively unencumbered by inefficient feudal land tenure, but could not be sold. The Dissolution created a market for formerly monasti...
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Importance To address major causes of perinatal and maternal mortality, the World Health Organization developed the Safe Childbirth Checklist (SCC), which to our knowledge has been rigorously evaluated only in combination with high-intensity coaching. Objective To evaluate the effect of the SCC with medium-intensity coaching on health care workers...
Article
We propose a novel son preference measure that relates the preference to a specific child. We find child-specific son preference to be more common among later born children and in families with fewer sons. Using the novel measure and an interaction instrumental variables approach, we estimate a penalty in early mental functions for unwanted girls o...
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Background In the prevention of cardiovascular disease, a WHO target is that at least 50% of eligible people use statins. Robust evidence is needed to monitor progress towards this target in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), where most cardiovascular disease deaths occur. The objectives of this study were to benchmark statin use in LM...
Article
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This study gathered evidence from Germany and the United States on public opinion towards fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across the world. Analytical Hierarchy Process and discrete choice experiments were used for this purpose. The sample is nationally representative of adults (aged 18 and above) for both countries using quotas on age, gend...
Article
Background Alcohol is a leading risk factor for over 200 conditions and an important contributor to socioeconomic health inequalities. However, little is known about the associations between individuals’ socioeconomic circumstances and alcohol consumption, especially heavy episodic drinking (HED; ≥5 drinks on one occasion) in low-income or middle-i...
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Objectives To determine the prevalence and frequency of using any tobacco product and each of a detailed set of tobacco products, how tobacco use and frequency of use vary across countries, world regions, and World Bank country income groups, and the socioeconomic and demographic gradients of tobacco use and frequency of use within countries. Desi...
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There is a dearth of evidence on the epidemiology of multimorbidity in low- and middle-income countries. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of multimorbidity in India and its variation among states and population groups. We analyzed data from a nationally representative household survey conducted in 2015–2016 among individuals aged 15 to...
Article
Background Effective equity-focused health policy for hypertension in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) requires an understanding of the condition’s current socioeconomic gradients and how these are likely to change in the future as countries develop economically. Objectives This cross-sectional study aimed to determine how hypertension pre...
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Background There is a substantial gap in provision of adequate surgical care in many low- and middle-income countries. This study aimed to identify the economic burden of unmet surgical need for the common condition of appendicitis. Methods Data on the incidence of appendicitis from 170 countries and two different approaches were used to estimate n...
Article
Background: There is a substantial gap in provision of adequate surgical care in many low- and middle-income countries. This study aimed to identify the economic burden of unmet surgical need for the common condition of appendicitis. Methods: Data on the incidence of appendicitis from 170 countries and two different approaches were used to estim...
Article
OBJECTIVE Diabetes prevalence is increasing rapidly in rural areas of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), but there are limited data on the performance of health systems in delivering equitable and effective care to rural populations. We therefore assessed rural-urban differences in diabetes care and control in LMICs. RESEARCH DESIGN AND MET...
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Incomplete and absent doses in routine childhood vaccinations are of major concern. Health systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), in particular, often struggle to enable full vaccination of children, which affects their immunity against communicable diseases. Data on child vaccination cards from a cross-sectional primary survey with 1,...
Article
Despite ongoing calls for a more even global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, there remains a great disparity between high- and low-income countries. We conducted representative surveys among the adult population in the United States (N=1,000) and Germany (N=1,003) in June 2021 to assess the public opinion in these countries on distributive justi...
Article
Objective Lifestyle interventions can be efficacious in reducing cardiovascular disease risk factors and are recommended as first-line interventions in England. However, recent information on the use of these interventions in primary care is lacking. We investigated for how many patients with newly diagnosed hypertension, hyperlipidaemia or obesity...
Article
Based on a primary survey conducted in the rural–urban interface of Bangalore, this study contributes to the understanding of the relationship between dietary diversity (DD) and anthropometric outcomes of young children (6 months – 5 years) (measured by weight-for-age (WAZ), weight-for-height (WHZ), and height-for-age (HAZ) z-scores), school-aged c...
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This study used a wide range of information on parental sociodemographic, physical and behavioural characteristics as well as on the presence of non-communicable diseases among parents and examined the association of these attributes with anthropometric failure, anaemia and mortality of their children aged 0–59 months. Findings revealed that childr...
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Background: The prevalence of multimorbidity in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is thought to be rising rapidly. Research on the state of healthcare for multimorbidity in LMICs is needed to provide an impetus for integration of care across conditions, a baseline to monitor progress, and information for targeting of interventions to those...
Article
To quantify the impact of a novel “soft” commitment intervention, we randomly allocate 1525 Indian slum dwellers to receive a zip purse and a lockbox (treatment) or a lockbox only (control). After six months, we document a 19 percent increase in total savings in the treatment arm. The effect is sustained in a sub-sample of participants we re-interv...
Article
Grant disbursals and school-based management interventions have received growing attention from policy-makers despite their mixed success at improving educational outcomes. This paper reports results from a large-scale, cluster randomised controlled trial in Sokoto state, Nigeria. School-based management committees received a training and a grant t...
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Background This study looks at the factors that can shape patients’ choice of healthcare providers. Understanding this process can help with making high quality healthcare more accessible for all. We focus on distance, patient’s health status, (perceived) quality of healthcare facility, and referrals to investigate how these factors compete in shap...
Article
Background: For patients with type 2 diabetes in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), access to newer antidiabetic drugs (eg, sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 [SGLT2] inhibitors, glucagon-like peptide-1 [GLP-1] receptor agonists, and insulin analogues) could reduce the incidence of diabetes-related complications. We aimed to estimate pri...
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Objective This study assessed intake of iron-and-folic-acid (IFA) tablet/syrup (grouped into none, <100 days of IFA consumption or <100 IFA, and ≥100 days of IFA consumption or ≥100 IFA) among prospective mothers and its association with various stages of low-birthweight (ELBW: extremely low-birthweight, VLBW: very low-birthweight, and LBW: low-bir...
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Objective To assess how pregnancy anaemia affects the offspring’s early childhood development, child haemoglobin (Hb) levels child growth and diseases incidence 2 years after birth in a low-income setting. Furthermore, we investigate the mediating role of childhood Hb levels with disease incidences and skills. Design Prospective cohort study. Set...
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Background: As the prevalence of hypercholesterolemia is increasing in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), detailed evidence is urgently needed to guide the response of health systems to this epidemic. This study sought to quantify unmet need for hypercholesterolemia care among adults in 35 LMICs. Methods and findings: We pooled individual...
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Background Mobile money—a service enabling users to receive, store, and send electronic money using mobile phones—has been widely adopted across low- and middle-income economies to pay for a variety of services, including healthcare. However, evidence on its effects on healthcare access and health outcomes are scarce and the possible implications o...
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The rapid spread of COVID-19 renewed the focus on how health systems across the globe are financed, especially during public health emergencies. Development assistance is an important source of health financing in many low-income countries, yet little is known about how much of this funding was disbursed for COVID-19. We aimed to put development as...
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Immediate initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for all people living with HIV has important health benefits but implications for the economic aspects of patients' lives are still largely unknown. This stepped-wedge cluster-randomized controlled trial aimed to determine the causal impact of immediate ART initiation on patients’ healthcare expe...
Article
Lack of information about health risks may limit the adoption of improved nutrition and other new healthy behaviors. This paper studies the effect of a nutrition-information intervention on household dietary behavior, hemoglobin levels, and cognitive outcomes of children in rural India. Using experimental data and a regression discontinuity design...
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Background: Given the increasing prevalence of diabetes in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), we aimed to estimate the health and cost implications of achieving different targets for diagnosis, treatment, and control of diabetes and its associated cardiovascular risk factors among LMICs. Methods: We constructed a microsimulation mod...
Preprint
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We conducted representative surveys among the adult population in Germany (n=1,003) and the United States (n=1,000) with discrete choice experiments and analytical hierarchy process items to elicit opinions about global COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Results unveil a high consent towards utilitarian or egalitarian distribution principles, prioritiz...
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Importance Evidence on the suitability of anthropometric failure (ie, stunting, underweight, and wasting) as a stand-alone measure of child undernutrition can inform global and national nutrition and health agendas. Objective To provide a comprehensive estimate of the prevalence of child undernutrition by evaluating both dietary and anthropometric...
Article
Background: While the prevalence of childhood diseases and related mortality have been decreasing over the past decades, progress has been unequally distributed. The poorest households often carry the highest disease burden. As morbidity and mortality also decline most slowly among children of the poorest households, socioeconomic status may becom...
Article
Background: Globally, health care seeking for childhood diseases seems to be on the rise. However, progress is slow and still, many cases of infectious diseases in children remain untreated, leading to preventable child mortality. A better understanding of care seeking behaviour may help to further increase the probability that a sick child is tak...
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Background: The world has made considerable progress in the reduction of adolescent maternity and early marriage. However, this progress has been uneven, with many countries finding themselves far from achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in this dimension. We assessed levels and trends over time in adolescent marriage and maternity prevale...
Article
Background: Young women in West and Central Africa have been described by the United Nations as being especially vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. Despite a consensus that increased efforts are necessary to address the needs of this particular demographic, correlates of HIV seropositivity in young West and Central African women have not been systematically...
Article
Background: Adolescence is a formative period when an individual acquires physical, cognitive, emotional, and social resources that are the foundation for later life, health, and well-being [1]. However, in West and Central African region, this trajectory is curtailed by early childbearing associated with an increased risk of undernutrition and an...
Article
Background: Adequate antenatal care (ANC) utilization is recognized as one of the important drivers of safe childbirth and positive birth outcomes. The usage of ANC services fluctuates with various personal, socio-economic, and cultural characteristics and in resource-poor settings, adolescent mothers are at a particularly high risk of insufficien...
Article
Objective: Early marriage and childbearing have substantial detrimental effects on both, the affected girls and women at the micro level, as well as entire economies on the macro level. West and Central African countries have some of the highest prevalence rates of early marriage and maternity worldwide. This work attempts to quantify the long-ter...
Article
Background: Adolescence is a highly vulnerable period of human life characterized by substantial physiological and cognitive changes for which adequate nutrition is crucial. To date, evidence on determinants, prevalence, and trends of undernutrition and anemia for the entire West and Central African region is missing. This paper provides evidence...
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Background: Early marriage and maternity prevalence rates among adolescent girls remain alarmingly high in West and Central Africa (WCA). This study aims to explore the associations between socio-economic factors and the prevalence of early marriage and maternity, thus contributing to the identification of girls at risk of early pregnancy or marri...
Article
Backgound: The global community recognizes the urgent need to end preventable child deaths, making it an essential part of the third Sustainable Development Goal. Pneumonia, diarrhoea, and malaria still remain the leading causes of deaths among children under five years, especially in one of the poorest geographic regions of the world - West and C...
Article
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Background Measuring routine childhood vaccination is crucial to inform global vaccine policies and programme implementation, and to track progress towards targets set by the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) and Immunization Agenda 2030. Robust estimates of routine vaccine coverage are needed to identify past successes and persistent vulnerabiliti...
Article
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Background: Measuring routine childhood vaccination is crucial to inform global vaccine policies and programme implementation, and to track progress towards targets set by the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) and Immunization Agenda 2030. Robust estimates of routine vaccine coverage are needed to identify past successes and persistent vulnerabilit...
Article
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We use a regression discontinuity design to estimate the causal effect of antiretroviral therapy (ART) eligibility according to national treatment guidelines of South Africa on two risk factors for cardiovascular disease, body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure. We combine survey data collected in 2010 in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, with clinical...
Article
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Background: At the individual level, it is well known that pregnancies have a short-term effect on a woman's cardiovascular system and blood pressure. The long-term effect of having children on maternal blood pressure, however, is unknown. We thus estimated the causal effect of having children on blood pressure among mothers in India, a country wi...
Article
Background: The prevalence of overweight, obesity, and diabetes is rising rapidly in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), but there are scant empirical data on the association between body-mass index (BMI) and diabetes in these settings. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we pooled individual-level data from nationally representa...
Article
Background As screening programs in low‐ and middle‐income countries (LMICs) often do not have the resources to screen the entire population, there is frequently a need to target such efforts to easily identifiable priority groups. This study aimed to determine (1) how hypertension prevalence in LMICs varies by age, sex, body mass index, and smokin...
Article
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Background Approximately 80% of the 463 million adults worldwide with diabetes live in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). A major obstacle to designing evidence-based policies to improve diabetes outcomes in LMICs is the scarce availability of nationally representative data on the current patterns of treatment coverage. The objectives...
Article
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The importance of data quality to correctly determine prevalence estimates of child anthropometric failures has been a contentious issue among policymakers and researchers. Our research objective was to ascertain the impact of improved DHS data quality on the prevalence estimates of stunting, wasting, and underweight. The study also looks for the d...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic shapes the lives of people around the globe – at the same time, people themselves have the power to shape the pandemic. By employing protective health behaviour, the population can alleviate the severity of an outbreak. This may be of particular importance whenever health systems or populations are vulnerable to shocks, as is...
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Background: Global cardiovascular disease (CVD) burden is high and rising, especially in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). Focussing on 45 LMICs, we aimed to determine (1) the adult population's median 10-year predicted CVD risk, including its variation within countries by socio-demographic characteristics, and (2) the prevalence of...
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Background: Current hypertension guidelines vary substantially in their definition of who should be offered blood-pressure-lowering medications. Understanding the impact of guideline choice on the proportion of adults who require treatment will be crucial for planning and scaling up hypertension care in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Met...
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The safe, highly effective measles vaccine has been recommended globally since 1974, yet in 2017 there were more than 17 million cases of measles and 83,400 deaths in children under 5 years old, and more than 99% of both occurred in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)1–4. Globally comparable, annual, local estimates of routine first-dose measl...
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Despite its importance for the targeting of interventions, little is known about the degree to which cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors cluster within different socio-geographic levels in South Asia. Using two jointly nationally representative household surveys, which sampled 1,082,100 adults across India, we compute the intra-cluster correl...
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Background Cardiovascular diseases are leading causes of death, globally, and health systems that deliver quality clinical care are needed to manage an increasing number of people with risk factors for these diseases. Indicators of preparedness of countries to manage cardiovascular disease risk factors (CVDRFs) are regularly collected by ministries...
Article
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Background The role of sociodemographic and economic characteristics in mental distress has been rarely investigated in Indonesia. Aims To investigate the prevalence of common mental disorders (CMD) and identify any associations between mental distress and sociodemographic and economic characteristics among communities living in urban and rural (...
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Importance The World Health Organization is developing a global strategy to eliminate cervical cancer, with goals for screening prevalence among women aged 30 through 49 years. However, evidence on prevalence levels of cervical cancer screening in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is sparse. Objective To determine lifetime cervical cancer s...