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The Long Run Impact of the Dissolution of the English Monasteries

monastery_kl Shortly before the decision to destroy all monasteries, Henry VIII ordered the Valor Ecclesiasticus, an assessment of church incomes. In this paper, Leander Heldring, James Robinson and Sebastian Vollmer investigated the long-run economic impact of the Dissolution of the monasteries in England. They found that parishes impacted by the Dissolution subsequently experienced a ‘rise of the Gentry’, had higher innovation and yields in agriculture, a greater share of the population working outside of agriculture, and ultimately higher levels of industrialization.

  • How Henry VIII started the age of industry. The Times [→]

  • "Monks, Gents and Industrialists : the Long Run Impact of the Dissolution of the English Monasteries". Alternatives Economiques [→]

  • Two centuries of economic development courtesy of the Industrial Revolution. Sydney Morning Herald [→]

Kommentar von Prof. Vollmer in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

In his recent commentary Sebastian Vollmer discusses the issue of compulsory coronavirus vaccination and the extent to which the state should intervene in the pandemic. He also points to the global dimension of the pandemic and argues that we will only overcome the pandemic with global solidarity.

Free pdf or link to article on FAZ website (both in German):

Prof. Sebastian Vollmer and his colleagues were interviewed for the British Medical Journal Talk Medicine Podcast: Measure the broader impacts of healthcare

In memory of Professor Stephan Klasen


Nachruf (in German)

We are extremely sad about the loss of our colleague, mentor and friend Stephan Klasen. Stephan has made development economics in Göttingen and Germany what it is today. He has trained more than 70 doctoral students over the years and leaves a wonderful legacy. We are grateful for the time we had together and we miss him dearly. To honor his legacy, the University of Göttingen has established the Stephan Klasen Fellowship for postdoctoral scholars from the global south. We show two videos here to remember Stephan’s academic life:

1) Stephan’s farewell lecture:

2) A speech that Amartya Sen gave in Göttingen on the occasion of a conference for Stephan’s 50th birthday. In the speech, Amartya Sen honors Stephan’s contributions to development economics and gender inequality in particular.

Dr. Cara Ebert awarded with Young Researcher Award for Excellence in Policy Relevant Research on Developing Countries 2020

Cara Ebert We are proud to announce, that Dr. Cara Ebert, former doctoral student of Prof. Vollmer, has been awarded the Young Researcher Award for Excellence in Policy Relevant Research on Developing Countries 2020 for her dissertation. The prize is awarded every year to three young researchers by the German Economic Association’s Research Group on Development Economics with support of the KfW Development Bank. Cara Ebert receives the prize for her dissertation "Child development and human capital formation - Evidence from randomized interventions and gender inequality".

She successfully completed her doctorate at the beginning of 2019 with distinction (summa cum laude). Her scientific work focuses on gender inequality as a socio-structural obstacle to early childhood development of girls as well as on measures to reduce anaemia and to promote early childhood development. She has conducted fieldwork jointly with Esther Heesemann in the Indian state of Bihar.

Today she works as a researcher in the competence area "Labour Markets, Education, Population" at the RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research in Berlin.

Average detection rate of SARS-CoV-2 infections is estimated around nine percent

coronavirusThe number of confirmed cases for the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19 officially issued by countries and widely commented on by national and international media outlets dramatically understates the true number of infections, a recent report from the University of Göttingen suggests. Dr. Christian Bommer and Professor Dr. Sebastian Vollmer from Göttingen University have used estimates of COVID-19 mortality and time until death from a recent study published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases to test the quality of official case records. Their data shows that the 40 most affected countries have only discovered on average about 9% of coronavirus infections by March 30th (compared to 6% two weeks earlier). Read more.

  • Hochrechnung sieht nur sechs Prozent der weltweiten Corona-Fälle erfasst. Der Spiegel [→]

  • So hoch könnte die Dunkelziffer der Corona-Fälle in Bremen sein Radio Bremen [→]

  • Dunkelziffer: Forscher schätzen schon 460 000 Corona-Fälle Süddeutsche Zeitung [→]

  • Millions of coronavirus infections left undetected worldwide – study. Deutsche Welle [→]

  • Video: Corona aktuell: Wie zuverlässig sind die Zahlen? ARD Morgenmagazin [→]

  • EASAC report “The imperative of climate action to protect human health in Europe”

    Prof. Dr. Vollmer was part of a European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (EASAC) working group on climate change and health. He was nominated by the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. The new EASAC report “The imperative of climate action to protect human health in Europe” highlights an alarming range of health risks due to climate change, and the benefits of rapid phase out of fossil fuels. The scientists elaborated different pathways that will lead to increased health risks if no urgent action is taken to reduce greenhouse emission.
    The pathways are increased exposure to high temperatures and extreme events such as floods and droughts, air pollution and allergens; Weakening of food and nutrition security; Increased incidence and changing distribution of some infectious diseases (including mosquito-borne, food-borne and water-borne diseases); Growing risk of forced migration;
    The solutions proposed by the scientists of the EASAC were decarbonization of the economy, healthier diets, climate-smart food systems, strengthening communicable disease surveillance and response systems. Furthermore, the impacts of climate change should not only be viewed on the European level, but rather on the global level.

    • Climate crisis seriously damaging human health, report finds. The Guardian [→]

    • Fossil fuel ban ‘would save 30,000 lives a year in UK’ The Times [→]

    • Climate change is seriously threatening human health CNN [→]

    • Europas Akademien warnen vor Klimaveränderungen Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung [→]

    • Klimawandel kostet Gesundheit - Aber noch können wir handeln MDR [→]

    Latest Thinking ( What is the Global Economic Burden of Diabetes

    Summer School on Global Health and Poverty

    During a two-week program, exceptional students from all over the world came to Göttingen to work on Global Health and Poverty. Hosted by the CeMIS, the Chair for Development Economics, and Göttingen’s Shortterm Programs, this Summer School provided international Master’s and PhD students the opportunity to discuss and learn about important issues on the epidemiological transition, infectious diseases, and global health systems. Internationally renowned lecturers – such as Barry Bloom, former Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health – shared their knowledge on today’s most pressing challenges of the field. An excursion to Berlin led to further special insights into Germany’s role in global health, as participants met with representatives of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, and Member of Parliament Jürgen Tritin. The diversity of the participants both in terms of their field of study and their place of origin made for a fascinating and productive exchange of ideas and experiences. Therefore, the University of Göttingen was thrilled to host and teach these future Global Health practitioners and researchers.

    Christian Bommer, Esther Heesemann, Vera Sagalova and Prof. Sebastian Vollmer receive Science Award of the German Society of Health Economics

    Christian Bommer We congratulate Christian Bommer, Esther Heesemann, Vera Sagalova and Prof. Sebastian Vollmer from the Development Economics group at CeMIS. They received the Science Award of the German Society of Health Economics at the annual meeting on March 5th. They received the prize for their article on "The Global Economic Burden of Diabetes: A Cost-of-Illness Study”, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology in 2017. In the article, they estimate that diabetes treatment as well as diabetes related production losses account for $US1.3 trillion globally, equivalent to 1.8 percent of global GDP. Christian Bommer, Esther Heesemann and Vera Sagalova have already been awarded with the University of Göttingen's Foundation Council Award for "Herausragende Nachwuchspublikation" ("Outstanding Publication by Junior Researchers") for the same article by the end of 2017. For further information and a link to the article, see the press release here.

    Development Economics Conference - Göttinger Schule

    From June 23rd - 24th more than 150 development economists from all over the world gathered in Göttingen to celebrate the 50th birthday of Professor Dr. Stephan Klasen. The celebration was a two-day conference that covered a broad range of topics in development economics such as gender, education, and agriculture. All of Klasen's former and current PhD students, collaborators, and friends were invited to participate. Nobel prize winner Amartya Sen, was the keynote speaker at the birthday celebration and honoured Stephan Klasen's contributions to development economics, in particular his strides in gender inequality. Sen, Klasen's doctoral supervisor, referred to Klasen as the "leading expert on missing women" and a "brilliant mind." He also offered the opportunity for more than a hundred development economics students from the University of Göttingen to participate in a question and answer period. Conference programme here.

    Keynote Lecture of Amartya Sen [→]

    Speech by Amartya Sen:

    Jun.-Prof. Dr. Sebastian Vollmer: 2015 KfW Development Bank Prize for Scientific Excellence

    Vollmer Jun.-Prof. Dr. Sebastian Vollmer, Chair of Development Economics ('Juniorprofessur'), has received the 2015 KfW Development Bank Prize for Scientific Excellence. The prize was jointly awarded to Sebastian Vollmer and Dr. Kenneth Harttgen (ETH Zürich) for the paper: "Association between economic growth and early childhood undernutrition: evidence from 121 Demographic and Health Surveys from 36 low-income and middle-income countries," published in The Lancet Global Health. The authors investigate the relationship between economic growth and childhood undernutrition. While it is a common belief that undernutrition improves in economic growth, the authors find that economic growth does not automatically equate to reductions in childhood undernutrition.

    The prize was awarded at the annual conference of the German Economic Association ("Verein für Socialpolitik," VfS). It took place from June 12-13th 2015 at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Germany. The KfW Development Bank supports the German Economic Association in awarding the Prize for Policy Relevant Development Research to young scientists for excellence in applied development research.