Chair of Development Economics / Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS)


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Welcome to our website! We are the development economics research group at the Centre for Modern Indian studies under the lead of Prof. Dr. Sebastian Vollmer. We study the linkages between health, education and poverty in low- and middle-income countries, in diverse collaborations with local governments, non-government organizations and other academic institutions. Furthermore, we support research projects as external evaluators and provide decision makers with policy advice based on our research. Our team’s background comprises a diverse range of key competencies and research foci. Find out more about our team, research or teaching.

Girls unwanted – The role of parents’ child-specific sex preference for children’s early mental development

Former doctoral student Cara Ebert and Professor Vollmer conducted a study to evaluate the effects of parents’ child-specific sex preference on children’s early mental development in Bihar, India. They propose a novel son preference measure and find that child-specific son preference is more common among later born children and in families with fewer sons. At birth order three, the probability of having a son preference is 60 percentage points higher than at birth order one. At a given birth order, mothers with one son are 40 percentage points less likely to have a son preference than mothers without sons. They further estimate the penalty in cognitive and non-cognitive functions faced by daughters who did not satisfy their mothers’ child-specific son preference and label this the son preference-specific girl-penalty in early skills. They find a son preference-specific girl-penalty in overall mental development of 0.74 standard deviations and of 0.81 and 0.64 standard deviations in cognitive and language skills specifically. The study appeared in the Journal of Health Economics.

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Use of statins for the prevention of cardiovascular disease in 41 low-income and middle-income countries: a cross-sectional study of nationally representative, individual-level data

Doctoral student Maja-Emilia Marcus, Professor Vollmer and the HPACC collaboration conducted a multi-country pooled analysis to explore the usage of statins for prevention of cardiovascular disease among non-pregnant people in the Global South. Individual-level data from national health surveys done between 2013 and 2019 in 41 low- and -middle income countries were analyzed. The study shows inadequate statin utilization, with only one in ten eligible people consuming statins for the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases and one in five eligible people for the secondary prevention. The study appeared in The Lancet Global Health.

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