In an era of rising health care costs, an aging population, emerging global health threats, and evolving insurance markets and regulatory environments, the questions of how we provide and pay for health care—and improve health—are critical. The Becker Friedman Institute’s Health Economics Initiative aims to develop and support the advancement of fundamental economic research on such questions.
Medical and public health research are at the forefront of efforts to improve health care delivery and effectiveness. What sets this initiative apart is its primary focus on applying the tools of economic analysis to understand the basic forces—supply and demand, incentives, labor trends, and investments in human capital, for example—that influence health care policies and the systems in which they are implemented.
Specifically, this initiative supports three programs exploring distinct strands of health economics:
- the Program on Foundational Research in Health Care Markets and Policies, launched in 2016 and directed by Tomas Philipson with Casey Mulligan;
- a new Program on Economics of Health Care Delivery, led by David O. Meltzer, which will explore issues of costs and quality in health care provision; and
- a third program under development that will explore relationships between human capital and health outcomes.
The initiative will strengthen the field of health economics by investing in and supporting young scholars just entering the field through fellowships for emerging scholars at the dissertation and postdoctoral stage and opportunities to collaborate.