Publications in peer-reviewed journals

The effect of personalised versus non-personalised study invitations on recruitment within the ENGAGE feasibility trial: an embedded randomised controlled recruitment trial
With Ella Thiblin, Joanne Woodford and Louise von Essen
BMC Medical Research Methodology (2022): 22(65)

Recruitment into clinical trials is challenging and there is a lack of evidence on effective recruitment strategies. Personalisation of invitation letters is a potentially pragmatic and feasible way of increasing recruitment rates at a low-cost. However, there is a lack of evidence concerning the effect of personalising of study invitation letters on recruitment rates. […]

The Effects of Fluoride in Drinking Water
With Linuz Aggeborn
Journal of Political Economy (2021): 129(2)

Water fluoridation is a common, but debated, public policy. In this paper, we use Swedish registry data to study the causal effects of fluoride in the drinking water. We exploit exogenous variation in natural fluoride, stemming from variation in geological characteristics at water sources, to identify its effects. First, we reconfirm the long-established positive effect of fluoride on dental health. Second, we estimate a zero-effect on cognitive ability — in contrast to several recent epidemiological studies. Third, fluoride is found to increase labor income. This effect is foremost driven by individuals from a lower socioeconomic background.

Socioeconomic consequences of parenting a child with cancer for fathers and mothers in Sweden: A population‐based difference‐in‐difference study
With Joanne Woodford and Louise von Essen
International Journal of Cancer (2021): 148(10)

Parents are the primary source of support for children with cancer. To inform clinical practice and health policies the socioeconomic consequences of childhood cancer for fathers and mothers in Sweden were investigated. 3865 mothers and 3865 fathers of 3865 children diagnosed with cancer in Sweden when 0-18 years were followed five years before and ten years after diagnosis. Socioeconomic consequences of the cancer diagnosis on earnings and employment, and mental health (number of inpatient diagnoses), were investigated exploiting variation in timing of cancer diagnosis. […]

Working papers

Toxic Metal Injustice? Socioeconomic Status at Birth and Proximity to Airborne Contamination
With Linuz Aggeborn, Oscar Erixson and Jenny Jans

We study airborne levels of three toxic metals — arsenic, lead, and mercury — and ask whether geographical closeness to contamination of these metals is unequally distributed within the population of newborn children. We answer this question by applying registry data from Sweden and data on airborne pollution for the years 1992–2014. Exposure to arsenic, lead, and mercury has previously been linked to negative health effects including worse cognitive development. However, we find no evidence that closeness to contamination is associated with socioeconomic status at the place of residence at birth. This leads us to conclude that environmental injustice with regard to mercury, lead or arsenic contamination is negligible. The likely explanation is that contamination is not visible enough, and therefore not sufficiently salient, to result in residential sorting.

Be smart, live long: the relationship between cognitive and non-cognitive abilities and mortality

This study documents the relationships between cognitive and non-cognitive abilities and mortality, using a population-wide dataset of almost 700,000 Swedish men born between 1951 and 1969. The abilities were measured at the military enlistment between age 18-20. Income and education are investigated as potential mediators. The results suggest that both cognitive and non-cognitive ability are strongly correlated with early mortality. The correlations are stronger for non-cognitive ability. These correlations are only partly mediated through income and education. The correlations are driven by individuals with low income or lacking high education.

Health Information and Well-Being: Evidence from an Asymptomatic Disease
With Matz Dahlberg, Kevin Mani and Anders Wanhainen

We examine how health information affects individuals’ well-being using a regression discontinuity design on data from a screening program for an asymptomatic disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). The information provided to the individuals is guided by the measured aorta size and its relation to pre-determined levels. When comparing individuals that receive information that they are healthy with those that receive information that they are in the risk zone for AAA, we find no effects. However, when comparing those that receive information that they have a small AAA, and will be under increased surveillance, with those who receive information that they are in the risk zone, we find a weak positive effect on well-being. This indicates that the positive information about increased surveillance may outweigh the negative information about worse health.


Myocardial Infarction, Antidepressants and Mortality

I estimate the effect of SSRI antidepressants on the risk of mortality for myocardial infarction (MI) patients using Propensity Score Matching on individual health variables such as pharmaceutical drug prescription, patient history and severity of the MI. The effect of antidepressants on mortality is a heavily debated topic. MI patients have an elevated risk of developing depression, and antidepressants are among the most common treatments for depression and anxiety. However, there are indications that some classes of antidepressants may have drug-induced cardiovascular effects and could be harmful for individuals with heart problems, but there is a lack of large-scale studies using credible identification strategies. My findings indicate no increased risk of two-year mortality for MI patients using SSRI. The results are stable for several specifications and robustness checks.

Education and Cognitive Ability
With Linuz Aggeborn and Björn Öckert

The Effects of Shootings
With Oscar Erixson

Intelligence and COVID-19 Vaccination Uptake
With Mikael Elinder and Oscar Erixson

With Matz Dahlberg and Nils Hertting


The Heavy Metal Project
With Linuz Aggeborn, Oscar Erixson, Jenny Jans, Per Johansson and J. Peter Nilsson