This year the Europen Conference on Sport Economics Conference took place in Groningen (Netherlands). The conference started with a PhD-Workshop held by Robert Simmons (University of Lancaster). On the second day, Chris Bojke (University of Leeds, former University of York) and Pamela Wicker (German Sport University Cologne) held lectures on empirical health economics and academic writing.
The fist part covered standard econometric methods used to overcome endogeneity issues. Rob Simmons gave a two hour lecture on Difference-in-Difference applications and instrument variable estimation. After lunch the participants were asked to replicate results from different studies using the original datasets. My task was to replicate a study about the performance change of English referees after the introduction of salaried contracts in the Premier League and the Championship. Interestengly, referee performance was measured as the number of cards issued by a referee. The main argument for this measure is that once a referee has to issue cards, he has lost control of the game. I am not quite sure if this is convincing. But if you assume it to be a good measure, then referees performance increased after the introduction of salaried contracts. You can find the full paper here.
The second day of the PhD-Workshop started with a lecture on empirical health economics by Chris Bojke. The overall aim of the lecture was to demonstrate how health economics is used to make decisions on reimbursement of medication by (some of) the national health care systems. New to me was the concept of the quality-adjusted life year (QALY) as a measure of the utility generated by a specific drug. In the end the students were tought, how decisions on reimbursement in many (European) countries are made using a health economic apporach. Thereby, Chris Bojke emphasized that health economics “is not a guillotine”. The slides of the lecture can be found here.
The workshop ended with a lecture of Pamela Wicker. The short introduction on academic writing aimed to give an overview about the typical parts of a paper and to clarify different concepts (for example the difference between concept, theory and theoretical framework). I would have expected that these terms are clear to PhD-students, but surely there has been a reason why this was part of the talk. The most interesting part to me was the illustration of referee incentives when it comes to write a report for a peer-reviewed journal and also the useful hints of what is important when it comes to handing in a paper to a specific journal.
Overall the PhD-Workshop was very intersting and heterogenious regarding the topics (Econometrics, Helath Econimics, Academic Writing). Especially the hands-on part of the econometric session was very useful for understanding the overall concept of Difference-in-Difference approach.