I am a PhD candidate in Economics (specialization in Econometrics) at the Graduate Programme in Economics and Finance (GPEF) of the University of St. Gallen. My supervisor is Beatrix Eugster.
My research lies at the intersection of labor and education economics, health economics, and applied causal machine learning, with the aim of thorough policy evaluation and meaningful policy recommendation. In my thesis, I investigate the situation of students from minority groups (such as gifted students or students with special needs) in inclusive educational settings.
In addition to my research in Economics, I am a philosopher and trained Logic-based therapist with the NPCA. I am engaged in working on problems of climate grief and “climate-friendly” virtues. When not coding or writing, you’ll find me running or biking, cooking, baking sourdough bread, or collaborating on the Intergifted project with my wife Jennifer.
I am looking forward to meeting you at the European Job Market 2021!
While the number of students with identified special needs is increasing in developed countries, there is little evidence on returns to special education in terms of academic outcomes and labor market integration. In this paper, I investigate short- and long-term returns to special education programs for students with special needs using recent advances in causal machine learning and computational text analysis. By leveraging detailed student-level written psychological records as well as administrative data, I find that special education programs in inclusive settings have positive returns on academic performance in math and language as well as on employment and wages. Moreover, I uncover a positive effect of inclusive special education programs in comparison to segregated programs. However, segregation benefits mostly nonnative and students with emotional or behavioral problems. Finally, using shallow decision trees, I deliver optimal placement rules that increase overall returns for students with special needs and lower special education costs. These placement rules would reallocate most students with special needs from segregation to inclusion, which reinforces the conclusion that inclusion is beneficial to students with special needs.