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Holger Strulik

Holger Strulik, CES guest in September

Economics and Physiology

Many economic questions are directly linked to aspects of human physiology. Examples are the consumption of food (subsistence consumption), fertility, height and stature (obesity), the impact of cognitive and motor abilities on productivity, illness, health care, morbidity and death. But economic theory largely neglects insights from modern biology. A good example is the Grossman model, the workhorse model in health economics. It is inspired by the economic theory of human capital accumulation and assumes that humans accumulate health capital, an unknown concept in the natural sciences. Gerontologists, in contrast, emphasise that humans, as they age, accumulate health deficits and provide precisely estimated functions of human illness, aging and longevity.

Holger Strulik has worked for several years on integrating insights from modern biology into economic life-cycle theory and has applied this approach to reassess standard economic problems concerning health and longevity, education, nutrition, work effort and retirement. He will continue to work on this research agenda during his stay in Munich and will offer a short course on “New Developments in the Economics of Aging and Longevity”.

Mr Strulik has also worked extensively on economic development in the very long run, so-called unified growth theory, and on the economics of R&D-based growth. Recently he has developed a research interest in the economics of religion. His research has been published in journals such as The Economic Journal, the Journal of the European Economic Association, the European Economic Review, the Journal of Economic Growth, the Journal of Health Economics, and the Journal of Development Economics.

Holger Strulik received his PhD (Dr. rer. pol.) in 1997 from the University of Goettingen. In 2012 he returned to his alma mater where he currently holds a chair in International Economics. In the interim he spent several years as a lecturer at the University of Hamburg and held professorships at the University of Hanover and at the University of Copenhagen.