The price of a good heart…

In Money
Monday, 28 February 2005 00:00

Economists appreciate life years in euros

The costs of medical interventions in cardiovascular diseases are high. A bypass operation costs between € 2.500 and € 20.000, open heart surgery costs between € 10.000 and € 30.000 and a heart transplant about € 32.000. So, the costs of treatment of cardiovascular diseases are clear. But what do all these medical interventions yield in terms of health profit? A research team under the supervision of prof. dr. Wim Groot calculated with an innovative research method that an extra life year is worth between € 10.000 and € 30.000 to people. This study was recently published in the scientific journal Health Economics.


Better safe than sorry!

In Money
Thursday, 02 September 2004 00:00

Young doctor finds perfect investment strategy

Careful investors who, in times of great insecurity, invest their money in relatively certain values such as bonds or fixed term deposits appear not to be stupid. The doctoral research 'Robust Portfolio Optimization' of dr. Frank Lutgens (27) proves this in no uncertain terms. In his econometric models Lutgens takes uncertainty into account. He does this by considering different scenarios including a best and worst case scenario. The research shows that robust investors are not dull, but, on the contrary, successful. "With a robust portfolio you get more return," says the young doctor. "Banks, insurance companies and professional investors are seriously interested in this robust investment strategy."


Economist can predict future thanks to Veni grant

'Who is going to win the European Championship?' is the question that preoccupies a lot of people these days. Also German researcher dr. Martin Strobel (37) of the department of General Economics. With the help of the predictive value of a stock market he tries to give a scientific basis to the outcome of the tournament. "The shares of a country that is much in demand (for example because that country did well in the preliminary rounds), rise in price and the other way around. Ultimately the value of such a share determines the chance of winning the European championship."


Price of art is reasonably predictable...

Susanne Schönfeld (25) won two prizes for her final thesis 'Pricing in the art market', one of which was the 'Final thesis prize' of five hundred euros. She very appropriately invested the prize money in art. "The more expensive the work of art, the bigger the chance that you really bought something valuable."


Exciting search for common cyclical features

Candelon and Hecq make use of similar statistical techniques, but their perspective is more ‘macro-economic’ than that of the Nobel prize-winners. They particularly studied the common features in economic cycles in Europe, which has regularly led them to surprising conclusions. "With the statistical arithmetic techniques that were used in the past, too often non-existing correlations were established. Subsequently, economists started to ‘theorize’ these nonexistent correlations. As a result of that, in the past a great deal of international economic policy was made on the basis of false correlations. In fact, it is unbelievable that economists were wrong for such a long time!"


Research into resumption of work after illness

In Society
Thursday, 18 December 2003 00:00

Women more often ill, but nothing wrong with motivation

It is a fact that more than twice as many women as men end up in ‘WAO’. It is also true that half of the women end up in ‘WAO’ because of psychological complaints. But that is not because they don’t feel like working anymore. The research of dr. Angelique de Rijk of the department of Policy, Economics and Organization of Care (BEOZ, Work and Health section) of the UM Faculty of Health Sciences among a group of 119 ill women and men even showed the opposite. "Contrary to the general assumption, female employees are even more positive about resuming work than male employees", says De Rijk, who carried out the research together with other colleagues. To leave no doubt: the research of De Rijk et al. focused on factors that stand in the way of going back to work after an episode of absence through illness. These factors are very different from the factors that have an influence on falling ill during employment. But in fact, for the influx into the ‘WAO’ they are relevant. After all, someone who is taken ill and ends up in ‘WAO’ has not been able to resume his work because of circumstances. These can be medical impediments, but also other factors. That is what the research of Angelique de Rijk focused on.


Commitment and community spirit as a marketing strategy

"Creating commitment creates satisfied people, who are prepared to do something for someone else." These are the words of Prof. Dr. Ko de Ruyter, professor of Marketing at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of Universiteit Maastricht and winner of the Edmund Hustinx award 2003. The Hustinx award is presented once every two years to a Maastricht researcher of great national and international merit. "It is sort of an award for the oeuvre," explains De Ruyter, "they don’t look at one specific project or research, but it is a general evaluation of all the work you have done so far."


The housing market is locked up. A good 13% of office space is unoccupied, and in business parks, roughly one in every ten buildings is merely an empty shell. Behold the state of affairs of real estate in the Netherlands. As ever, Piet Eichholtz is calling for unorthodox solutions.


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