Dr. Sofia Monteiro

Topics: Behavioral Economics, Digitalization, Health

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Main research interests

  • Global Health
  • Medical Decision Making
  • Economic Evaluation
  • Digital Health Technologies
  • Chronic Inflammatory Diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Nutrition

Born and raised in South Africa, Sofia Monteiro is a behavioral economist at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy who is passionate about global health and international development. She is a postdoc in the global health research group contributing to the DFG-funded Cluster of Excellence Precision Medicine, one of the world’s leading research collaborations on chronic inflammatory processes in the human body. The scope of this project covers a wide range of chronic diseases whose prevalence is increasing in many industrialized countries.

Sofia’s main focus is on chronic inflammatory bowel diseases where she aims to develop new patient-centered methods of economic evaluation for the application of innovative tools within the paradigm of precision medicine. These economic evaluations are meant to support the adoption and adaptation of precision medicine in solidarity-based health systems around the world and to help identify priorities for public and private investments as health systems seek to adapt.

Another focus of Sofia’s research is on individual lifestyle choices that may impact susceptibility for disease, treatment adherence and health outcomes. In her previous position at the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in Bonn, she sought to find novel strategies that can create lasting behavioral change and promote healthier food choices within societal and economic institutions that all too often encourage overconsumption and have a tendency of exploiting various psychological biases individuals may have.

At the University of Cologne, Sofia acquired expertise in evaluating digital health technologies. Linking surveys to behavioral data from supermarket purchases, Sofia Monteiro has partnered with the Noakes’ Foundation to evaluate the Eat Better South Africa program. In a project funded by the Max Planck Institute and DFG, she designed a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the potential of continuous glucose monitoring and health coaching to reverse type 2 diabetes, as discussed on World Diabetes Day with the Nutrition Network. Her experimental research at the MPI Decision Lab in Bonn explored cognitive biases in the way individuals and teams form beliefs.

While at the University of Cape Town, she benefited from an Economic Research Southern Africa (ERSA) scholarship, and conducted an experiment on the effect of inherited wealth status on productivity in lab, funded by NOPOOR. Previously she studied the ‘decent work’ debate and rival narratives of the wage-employment relationship in South Africa.

Sofia Monteiro holds Bachelor degrees in economics and psychology and a Master degree in applied economics from the University of Cape Town as well as a PhD in economics from the University of Cologne.