Sonja Spitzer

Research Group: Economic Demography

Phone: +43 1 51581 - 7753

E-Mail: sonja.spitzer(at)


Sonja Spitzer joined the Wittgenstein Centre in 2017. Her research centres around the social and economic consequences of demographic change. Currently, she is focusing on the measurement and analysis of wellbeing from a demographic perspective, with a particular emphasis on inequalities in health and economic wellbeing within and between generations. Over the past years, she has built strong expertise in assessing the reliability of survey data, especially in the context of popular health measures and demographic differentials in health perception. For her research, she applies demographic as well as econometric methods.

Dr. Spitzer earned her PhD with specialisation in Demography and Economics from the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU) in 2020. She also holds a Master of Science in Economics and a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Socio-Economics, both from WU. She has completed parts of her studies at the University of Sydney, Australia. At present, Dr. Spitzer is a research scholar at the Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) as well as the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).


Areas of Expertise

  • Measures of Health and Ageing
  • Intergenerational Transfers
  • Statistical modelling
  • Survey methods

Selected Publications

Biases in health expectancies due to educational differences in survey participation of older Europeans: It’s worth weighting for
Author(s): Spitzer S
Reference: The European Journal of Health Economics
Year: 2020

Reporting biases in self-assessed physical and cognitive health status of older Europeans
Author(s): Spitzer S and Weber D
Reference: PLoS ONE 14(10): e0223526.
Year: 2019

Health misperception and healthcare utilisation among older Europeans
Autor(s): Spitzer S., Shaikh M.
Reference: VID Working Paper 1/2020
Year: 2020

The Gender Dimension of Intergenerational Transfers in Europe
Author(s): Bernhard H, Spitzer S, Vargha L and Istenič T
Reference: The Journal of the Economics of Ageing Vol.15
Year: 2020