WELCOME TO MY SITE
Overview of My Research
I am eager to understand how human talent and health evolves throughout childhood.
My research interest also touches upon
human capital accumulation at an early age
maternal labor supply
the effect of childcare institutions on children and mothers
health events around birth
RESEARCH FOR ME IS...
"The knack of flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss."
(Douglas Adams, my all-time favorite)
A LITTLE ABOUT ME
I reached a milestone in my career when I defended my doctoral thesis at Central European University and became a professional researcher in 2016 at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Additionally, I became a senior scientific consultant at HETFA Research Institute. In 2019 I had the honour to join Health and Population research group. Teaching at Debrecen University proves a great supplement to my research work since 2018. Being part of the Virtual Research Collaboration has became an essential part of my scientific work since 2015. Since then, my research has progressed and evolved into new projects. I invite you to take a look at my publications and ongoing research projects to get a better idea of the fruits of my research work. Feel free to get in touch with me to say hi or for more information about my work.
WHO I AM
Focused on High Achievement 24/7.
I’m a Researcher and a Mother of 3. I think I have told you everything.
Unlocking the Mysteries of Human Talent
(with: A. Lovasz) We estimate the effect of subsidized childcare availability on Hungarian mothers’ labor supply, using a discontinuity in kindergarten eligibility at age 3 of children. The effect is identified in a setting where policy intervention has a high potential impact, since maternal labor supply is very low under age 3 of children, but high for mothers with older children. We find that access to subsidized childcare increases maternal labor supply by 8.4 percentage points or 17 percent, an impact that is higher than what has been found in previous quasi-experimental studies from most other countries. However, the potential effectiveness of future childcare expansion under age 3 may be constrained by further institutional factors, such as very long parental leave, traditional cultural views, and the lack of flexible work forms, so a comprehensive policy approach is needed to achieve such a high effect.
(with: T. Hajdu, G. Kertesi, G. Kezdi, M. Szabo) We estimate the effects of establishing a Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) system and a newborn emergency transportation system (NETS) on infant mortality. We utilize a setup where such a system was built up gradually during a 45-year long period in Hungary. We identify the effect from longitudinal variation of new NICU establishments and NETS coverage. We handle selection by an instrumental variables strategy using the distance of residence. Our conservative estimates imply that birth in a city with a NICU decreases 0-6-day mortality in 1990-2015 by 174 per 1000 live births for very low birthweight infants and by 30 per 1000 live births for low birth weight infants. The estimated effects are weaker for the earlier time period, potentially due to inferior medical technologies. We find positive effects for NETS, although they are weak, reflecting the substantial risks of transportation. Our results after 1990 are similar for overall infant mortality and 0-6 day mortality, suggesting that lives saved by NICUs in the first six days tend to be lives saved for much longer.
(with: D. Horn, A. Lovasz, K. de Witte) Using instrumental variables approach this paper studies the effect of kindergarten starting age jointly with that of school starting age. We show that estimating the effect of kindergarten or school enrolment timing on later human capital outcomes separately, without taking their inter-relatedness into account, may confound the two effects and produce endogenous results. The instruments originate from exogenous birthdate-related enrolment cutoffs in kindergarten and school admissions. Using a rich Hungarian database, we show that both earlier kindergarten enrolment and later school enrolment have a significant and nonnegligible positive effect on standardised test scores in grade 6, 8, and 10, class marks given by the teacher, aspirations for higher education, and track choice. These effects tend to decrease over time and are heterogeneous across mother’s education, as earlier kindergarten enrolment age seems to matter only for the children of low educated mothers.
(with: E. Cukrowska-Torzewska, A. Lovasz, M. Rigo, A. Kiss) The effect of objective feedback on performance is often studied, while subjective feedback is largely neglected in the economics literature. We estimate the impact of positive subjective feedback - encouragement and praise - on effort and performance, and compare the effect by gender. We use a computer game, during which players are randomly chosen to be given either no feedback (control) or positive subjective feedback (treatment), and analyze the treatment effect on effort (clicks) and performance (score). Based on previous economic and psychology theories, we test the pathways through which subjective feedback can have an impact: on (1) effort, due to the updating of expected performance or direct (dis)utility from the feedback, or (2) marginal productivity. The results point to significant differences in the mean effects of subjective feedback by gender. For women, encouragement has a significant positive effect while praise has a significant negative effect on performance, while men are less responsive to subjective feedback in general. Gender differences are mostly explained by different confidence distributions, while there are no gender differences in treatment effects if confidence level is held fixed. The effects are mostly realized through changes in effort. These results suggest that better targeted supervisory communication in schools or workplaces can improve the performance of lower-confidence individuals and thereby decrease the gender gap in performance.
(with: H.J. Kiss) We investigate the formation and stability of locus of control by analyzing a rich Hungarian sample of adolescents and young adults of age 15 through 18. We analyze mean-level changes of locus of control in our sample and also the distribution of the changes broken down by gender. Similarly to the previous literature, we study what factors and life events affect the levels and changes of locus of control. To gain insight on the effect of locus of control, we explore its effect on the intention of pursuing tertiary education.
COMPETITION AND PERFORMANCE
(with: E. Cukrowska-Torzewska, A. Lovasz, M. Rigo) The research provides new evidence on gender differences in response to competition, and test whether positive subjective feedback affects these gender differences. A differential response by gender means subjective feedback can counteract the negative effect of competition on females, leading to a lower gender gap in the choice to compete and in performance under competitive settings. We utilize simple experiments using online games, where players are randomly assigned to four groups where they receive information on their relative performance or not, and receive subjective feedback (encouragement and praise) or do not.
(with: A. Biro) Immunisation has key role in stopping the spread of diseases. Refusal of vaccinations is an important public health issue all around the world. Our aim is to extend our knowledge on the determinants of vaccination demand, focusing on the influence of media on vaccination uptake. Our main focus is not on the refusal of mandatory vaccinations, but on the uptake of elective vaccinations.
(with: K. Bördős; G. Balás; B. Herczeg) In this analysis, we measure the effect of various economic factors and family policies on fertility in Hungary. In general, previous literature suggests that fertility decisions are affected primarily by employment, income and housing prospects. Our results clearly show that those elements of the family benefit system which target these areas have slight but significant fertility effect. We find that factors related to reemployment probability after childbearing, i.e. current female employment, nursery school availability and flexible work possibilities significantly increase birth probabilities. Also, the increase of disposable income due to family tax credit, as well as the better availability of housing due to home ownership support have a positive impact on fertility. The results of the macro model including 19 European countries support these findings with the key message that favourable economic and employment circumstances and deteriorating old-age dependency positively affect total fertility rate while cash benefits altogether have no significant effect on fertility.
NEW RESEARCH GRANT
Me and my great co-authors have received a research grant of the National Research, Development and Innovation Office of Hungary.
Our research topics for the period 2019-2022:
THE EFFECT OF EDUCATION ON YOUTH ADVERSE BEHAVIOUR
AIR POLLUTION AND FERTILITY
HUMAN CAPITAL EFFECTS OF ABORTION LAWS IN HUNGARY
My New Hobby
SUBJECTS I TEACH
Introduction to Economics
SELECTED FEEDBACK FROM STUDENTS
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