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Velichka Dimitrova

Velichka Dimitrova

Associate Tutor


  • 2022/2023: EC336 International Trade

    2021/2022: Warwick Summer School (Behavioural Economics), EC345 Behavioural Economics: Theory and Applications, EC336 International Trade

  • Commitee: Manuel Bagues, James Fenske, Ludovica Gazze

Contact details

Email: V dot Dimitrova dot 1 at warwick dot ac dot uk

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Monday, 11am-1pm (by appointment)


I am an applied microeconomist working on health economics, population economics, and economic history. I am interested in the consequences of migration for source countries. I investigate the impact of mass return migration on fertility, labour markets, and income. I also study the relationship between marriage and labour markets in the context of demographic transitions.

In my health economics research, I look at how financial constraints affect health service delivery and the prescribing of innovative medicines. I am also interested in the wider benefits of vaccines and their impact on mental health.


The fertility impact of mass return migration (Job market paper)

Return migration is common, yet identifying its impact is difficult because of selection and confounding factors in destination and source countries. A unique natural experiment – the Portuguese revolution of 1974 – triggered a mass exodus of colonists from the former overseas territories. Combining a new municipal panel from several archival sources for Portugal between 1940 and 1990, I study the fertility impact of return migration using event study and instrumental variable methodologies. As an instrument, I use historical outward migration to overseas territories, controlling for total emigration. A percentage point increase in the number of returnees relative to overall population resulted in 1.3 to 2.7 additional births per thousand women, driven primarily by non-migrant fertility. The main explanation is women leaving the labour force with younger women disproportionately affected. I rule out alternative explanations via demographic composition effects, marriage markets, and changes in remittance flows.

The psychological gains from COVID-19 vaccination: who benefits the most?, joint with Manuel Bagues

CAGE WP 594, CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP16694, IZA DP No. 14826

We quantify the impact of COVID-19 vaccination on psychological well-being using information from a large-scale panel survey representative of the UK population. Exploiting exogenous variation in the timing of vaccinations, we find that vaccination increases psychological well-being by 0.12 standard deviation, compensating for around one half of the overall decrease caused by the pandemic. This effect persists for at least two months, and it is associated with a decrease in the perceived likelihood of contracting COVID-19 and higher engagement in social activities. The improvement is 1.5 times larger for mentally distressed individuals, supporting the prioritization of this group in vaccination roll-outs.

Prescribing cost-effective treatments under financial constraints in the English NHS, joint with Hiba Sameen

Health Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG), The University of York WP 22/15

Despite the long-term benefits of new health technologies, their optimal adoption may be impeded by the financial constraints of a public health system. In this paper we assess whether financially constrained hospital trusts ration cost-effective but expensive innovative treatments. Given financial pressures, exogenous to small disease populations, accumulated debt may prevent optimal prescribing. In such circumstances, financially constrained hospital trusts may choose to ration the use of these treatments in the short-term, even though their prescribing may be a more efficient use of funds in the long-term. We consider two small disease populations of particular interest where recent innovative medicines have become available: hepatitis C and multiple sclerosis. Combining and analysing a novel panel dataset of 150 hospital trusts providing acute care in the United Kingdom, we find evidence of rationing new cost-effective treatments under financial constraints.

Baby busts, marriage ‘squeeze’ and labour market outcomes, joint with Manuel Bagues

We document the sex ratio imbalance at birth and investigate its consequences on the marriage market and further on labour market outcomes in European countries. The age gap within couples – men being on average older than women – combined with the secular cohort size decline, results in imbalanced sex ratios with a larger proportion of males in prime marriage ages. This has consequences for the labour market outcomes of men who remain single.